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The Impact of Economic Reform on the Performance of the Seed Sector in Eastern and Southern Africa

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  • Elizabeth Cromwell
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    Abstract

    During the last decade, the seed sector has been included in economic reform programmes in a number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa but it is not clear whether these initiatives have helped or hindered the process of improving small farmers' access to improved seed. This study explores this issue using the contrasting experiences of the seed sector in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Against a broadly common economic heritage and farming system, the pace of reform and the way it has been implemented in the seed sector have varied considerably between the three countries. Nonetheless the available data on seed production, costs of seed production and seed sales suggest that, at least in the short- to medium-term, reform-type policies adversely affect the ability of seed companies to produce improved seed cheaply and the ability of small farmers to make effective use of it. This is largely because general macro-economic and agricultural sector reforms fail to tackle the more ... Au cours de la dernière décennie, le secteur des semences a été inclus dans les programmes de réformes économiques de plusieurs pays de l'Afrique sub-saharienne mais on ne saurait dire si ces initiatives ont renforcé ou entravé les possibilités d'accès des petits exploitants aux semences améliorées. Ce document examine les aspects contrastés de cette question dans le cadre des expériences intervenues dans le secteur des semences au Malawi, en Zambie et au Zimbabwe. Face à une tradition économique et à un système de culture assez similaires, le rythme des réformes et leur application dans le secteur des semences diffèrent considérablement d'un pays à l'autre. Néanmoins, les données disponibles sur la production de semences, leurs coûts de fabrication et leurs ventes révèlent que, au moins pour le court et le moyen terme, les politiques de réformes types ont eu un effet défavorable sur la capacité des fabricants de semences à produire à bon marché des variétés améliorées et ...

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/523245475740
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Development Centre Working Papers with number 68.

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    Date of creation: Jun 1992
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    Handle: RePEc:oec:devaaa:68-en

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    Cited by:
    1. Wiggins, Steve & Cromwell, Elizabeth, 1995. "NGOs and seed provision to smallholders in developing countries," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 413-422, March.

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