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Improving technology delivery mechanisms: Lessons from bean seed systems research in eastern and central Africa

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  • Soniia David
  • Louise Sperling

Abstract

This article addresses concerns of technology dissemination for small farmers, specifically focusing on the diffusion of new varieties of a self-pollinating crop. Based on bean seed systems research in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, it shows four commonly-held basic assumptions to be false, namely that: first, small-scale farmers do not buy bean seed; they mainly rely on their own stocks or obtain seed from other farmers; second, that small-scale farmers cannot afford to buy seed of newly introduced bean varieties or will not risk it; third, that farmer seed networks function efficiently in varietal diffusion; and lastly, that a good variety will sell itself. Grounded in the reality under which small farmers actually operate, the article offers recommendations for improving the delivery of newly introduced bean cultivars by NARS and seed suppliers. Most of the recommendations are relevant to other self-pollinating crops. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Suggested Citation

  • Soniia David & Louise Sperling, 1999. "Improving technology delivery mechanisms: Lessons from bean seed systems research in eastern and central Africa," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 16(4), pages 381-388, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:16:y:1999:i:4:p:381-388
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1007603902380
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Thiele, Graham, 1999. "Informal potato seed systems in the Andes: Why are they important and what should we do with them?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 83-99, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sibiko, Kenneth Waluse, 2012. "Determinants of Common Bean Productivity and Efficiency: A Case of Smallholder Farmers in Eastern Uganda," Research Theses 134500, Collaborative Masters Program in Agricultural and Applied Economics.
    2. Drake N. Mubiru & Jalia Namakula & James Lwasa & Godfrey A. Otim & Joselyn Kashagama & Milly Nakafeero & William Nanyeenya & Mark S. Coyne, 2017. "Conservation Farming and Changing Climate: More Beneficial than Conventional Methods for Degraded Ugandan Soils," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(7), pages 1-14, June.
    3. Coomes, Oliver T. & McGuire, Shawn J. & Garine, Eric & Caillon, Sophie & McKey, Doyle & Demeulenaere, Elise & Jarvis, Devra & Aistara, Guntra & Barnaud, Adeline & Clouvel, Pascal & Emperaire, Laure & , 2015. "Farmer seed networks make a limited contribution to agriculture? Four common misconceptions," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 41-50.
    4. 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.
    5. Nordhagen, Stella & Pascual, Unai, 2013. "The Impact of Climate Shocks on Seed Purchase Decisions in Malawi: Implications for Climate Change Adaptation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 238-251.
    6. Nagarajan, Latha & Audi, Patrick & Jones, Richard & Smale, Melinda, 2007. "Seed provision and dryland crops in the semiarid regions of Eastern Kenya:," IFPRI discussion papers 738, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    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. Lybbert, Travis J., 2006. "Indian farmers' valuation of yield distributions: Will poor farmers value `pro-poor' seeds?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 415-441, October.

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