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Challenges of the maize seed industry in eastern and southern Africa: A compelling case for private-public intervention to promote growth

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  • Langyintuo, Augustine S.
  • Mwangi, Wilfred
  • Diallo, Alpha O.
  • MacRobert, John
  • Dixon, John
  • Bänziger, Marianne

Abstract

Following the liberalization and restructuring of the seed sector, the maize seed industry in eastern and southern Africa has witnessed a proliferation of private seed companies. Whereas the total number of registered maize seed companies in major maize producing countries increased four-fold between 1997 and 2007, the quantity of seed marketed barely doubled suggesting that the seed production and deployment environment is less than perfect. A study involving over 92% of all seed providers in east and southern Africa in 2007 showed that a number bottlenecks affect the entire maize seed value chain. The lack of access to credit constitutes a significant barrier to entry. Until governments and development partners make credit available to seed entrepreneurs directly or through risk sharing arrangements with commercial banks, national seed companies will not grow leaving the seed sector monopolized by the regional and multinational seed companies. In addition, the transfer of genetic materials between public and private sectors should be improved to allow easy access by seed companies to suitable and adapted varieties. To allow for rapid regional spillovers of varieties released in one country to similar agro-ecologies in different countries, the implementation of the harmonized regional seed laws and regulations should be expedited. Finally, the best strategies that increase the adoption of improved maize varieties should be explored and implemented to enhance seed demand.

Suggested Citation

  • Langyintuo, Augustine S. & Mwangi, Wilfred & Diallo, Alpha O. & MacRobert, John & Dixon, John & Bänziger, Marianne, 2010. "Challenges of the maize seed industry in eastern and southern Africa: A compelling case for private-public intervention to promote growth," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 323-331, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:35:y:2010:i:4:p:323-331
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Tripp, Robert & Rohrbach, David, 2001. "Policies for African seed enterprise development," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 147-161, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hugo De Groote & Nilupa S. Gunaratna & Monica Fisher & E. G. Kebebe & Frank Mmbando & Dennis Friesen, 2016. "The effectiveness of extension strategies for increasing the adoption of biofortified crops: the case of quality protein maize in East Africa," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 8(6), pages 1101-1121, December.
    2. Mabaya, Edward, 2016. "Performance of the formal seed sector in Africa: Findings from the African Seed Access Index," 2016 AAAE Fifth International Conference, September 23-26, 2016, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 249271, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
    3. Spielman, David J. & Kennedy, Adam, 2016. "Towards better metrics and policymaking for seed system development: Insights from Asia's seed industry," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 111-122.
    4. Mukasa Adamon N., 2016. "Working Paper 233 - Technology Adoption and Risk Exposure among Smallholder Farmers: Panel Data Evidence from Tanzania and Uganda," Working Paper Series 2328, African Development Bank.
    5. Poulton, Colin & Macartney, Jon, 2012. "Can Public–Private Partnerships Leverage Private Investment in Agricultural Value Chains in Africa? A Preliminary Review," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 96-109.
    6. Jonas Kathage & Menale Kassie & Bekele Shiferaw & Matin Qaim, 2016. "Big Constraints or Small Returns? Explaining Nonadoption of Hybrid Maize in Tanzania," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 38(1), pages 113-131.
    7. Shawn McGuire & Louise Sperling, 2016. "Seed systems smallholder farmers use," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 8(1), pages 179-195, February.
    8. repec:spr:ssefpa:v:10:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s12571-017-0749-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Spielman, David J. & Smale, Melinda, 2017. "Policy options to accelerate variety change among smallholder farmers in South Asia and Africa South of the Sahara," IFPRI discussion papers 1666, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    10. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:5:p:1597-:d:146692 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Shawn McGuire & Louise Sperling, 2016. "Seed systems smallholder farmers use," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 8(1), pages 179-195, February.
    12. Mudege, Netsayi N & Kapalasa, Eliya & Chevo, Tafadzwa & Nyekanyeka, Ted & Demo, Paul, 2015. "Gender norms and the marketing of seeds and ware potatoes in Malawi," Journal of Gender, Agriculture and Food Security, Africa Centre for Gender, Social Research and Impact Assessment, vol. 1(2), October.
    13. Adesina, Akinwumi A., 2013. "Global food and financial crises: lessons and imperatives for accelerating food production in Africa," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 8(4), October.
    14. Kumar, Ranjit & Alam, Khurshid & Krishna, Vijesh V. & Srinivas, K., 2012. "Value Chain Analysis of Maize Seed Delivery System in Public and Private Sectors in Bihar," Agricultural Economics Research Review, Agricultural Economics Research Association (India), vol. 25(2012).
    15. Kostandini, Genti & La Rovere, Roberto & Abdoulaye, Tahirou, 2013. "Potential impacts of increasing average yields and reducing maize yield variability in Africa," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 213-226.

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