IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

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


  • Elizabeth Cromwell


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 ...

Suggested Citation

  • Elizabeth Cromwell, 1992. "The Impact of Economic Reform on the Performance of the Seed Sector in Eastern and Southern Africa," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 68, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:devaaa:68-en

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

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

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oec:devaaa:68-en. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.