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Social Relations And Seed Transactions Among Smallscale Maize Farmers In The Central Valleys Of Oaxaca, Mexico; Preliminary Findings

  • Badstue, Lone B.
  • Bellon, Mauricio R.
  • Juarez, Xochitl
  • Manuel, Irma
  • Solano, Ana M.

This paper explores social arrangements associated with seed transactions among small-scale maize farmers in the Central Valleys of Oaxaca, Mexico, a centre of crop genetic diversity. A formal seed distribution system has yet to develop in the region and when seed loss occurs, farmers are faced with costs and difficulties identifying, locating, and obtaining seed of desired varieties. For these reasons, it was hypothesized that there were strong incentives for collective action among farmers to facilitate seed supply. The study found, however, no evidence of collective action with regards to seed supply in the three study communities-San Pablo Huitzo, San Lorenzo Albarradas, Santa Ana Zegache. Instead, farmers acquired seed using a variety of networks of social relations and different types of seed transactions. The results suggest that seed flow among farmers in the Central Valleys of Oaxaca is a complex process of negotiation and reciprocity, influenced by a variety of agroecological, socioeconomic, and cultural factors.

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Paper provided by CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in its series Economics Working Papers with number 46551.

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Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ags:cimmew:46551
Contact details of provider: Postal: Apdo. Postal 6-641, 06600 Mexico, D.F.
Phone: +52(55) 5804-2004
Fax: +52(55) 5804-7558
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  1. Smale, Melinda & Aguirre, Alfonso & Bellon, Mauricio R. & Mendoza, Jorge & Rosas, Irma Manuel, 1999. "Farmer Management of Maize Diversity in the Central Valleys of Oaxaca, Mexico: CIMMYT/INIFAP 1998 Baseline Socioeconomic Survey," Economics Working Papers 7689, CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center.
  2. Bellon, Mauricio R. & Smale, Melinda & Aguirre, Alfonso & Taba, Suketoshi & Aragon, Flavio & Diaz, Jaime & Castro, Humberto, 2000. "Identifying Appropriate Germplasm For Participatory Breeding: An Example From The Central Valleys Of Oaxaca, Mexico," Economics Working Papers 46524, CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center.
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