• TABLE OF CONTENTS
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 Front Cover
 Title Page
 Copyright
 Table of Contents
 List of Tables
 Figures
 Acronyms and abbreviations
 Acknowledgement
 Executive summary
 Introduction
 Methodology
 Seed supply
 Demographic and socioeconomic...
 Maize cultivars grown and farmers'...
 Farmers' management of cultivars...
 Tobit analysis of land allocation...
 Conclusions and implications
 Reference






Title: Farmers' maize seed systems in western Oromia, Ethiopia
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00077545/00001
 Material Information
Title: Farmers' maize seed systems in western Oromia, Ethiopia
Physical Description: viii, 32 p. : ill., maps ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Abdissa Gemeda
Ethiopian Agricultural Research Organization
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
Publisher: Ethiopian Agricultural Research Organization :
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
Place of Publication: Addis Ababa Ethiopia
Publication Date: 2001
 Subjects
Subject: Corn -- Seeds -- Ethiopia -- Oromiyā kelel   ( lcsh )
Corn -- Technological innovations -- Ethiopia -- Oromiyā kelel   ( lcsh )
Seed technology -- Ethiopia -- Oromiyā kelel   ( lcsh )
Genre: international intergovernmental publication   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 32).
Statement of Responsibility: Abdissa Gemeda ... et al..
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00077545
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: African Studies Collections in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 61122882
lccn - 2004414387
isbn - 9706480757

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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Title Page
        Page i
    Copyright
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
    List of Tables
        Page iv
    Figures
        Page iv
    Acronyms and abbreviations
        Page v
    Acknowledgement
        Page vi
    Executive summary
        Page vii
        Page viii
    Introduction
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Methodology
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Seed supply
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
    Demographic and socioeconomic characteristics
        Page 18
        Page 19
    Maize cultivars grown and farmers' seed sources
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
    Farmers' management of cultivars and seed
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
    Tobit analysis of land allocation to improved maize
        Page 29
        Page 30
    Conclusions and implications
        Page 31
    Reference
        Page 32
Full Text




Farmers' Maize


Systems


In Western Oromia,


Ethiopia


Abdisa Gemeda
Girma Aboma
Hugo VerkuijI
Wilfred Mwangi



June 2001


EA1R
Ethiopian Agricultural
Research Organization
(EARO)


II
CIMMYT.
INTERNATIONAL MAIZE AND
WHEAT IMPROVEMENT CENTER


Funded by the
European Union


Seed








Farmers' Maize Seed

Systems in Western Oromia,

Ethiopia


Abdissa Gemeda
Girma Aboma
Hugo Verkuiji
Wilfred Mwangi *














* Abdissa Gemeda and Girma Aboma are agricultural economists at the Bako Research Center, Ethiopia. At the time this paper was drafted, Hugo Verkuijl was an
associate scientist at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Wilfred Mwangi is a principal economist with
CIMMYT on secondment to the Government of Kenya. The views expressed in this paper are the authors' and do not necessarily reflect policies of their respective
institutions.
















CIMMYT (www.cimmyt.cgiar.org) is an internationally funded, nonprofit, scientific research and training organization. Headquartered in Mexico,
CIMMYT works with agricultural research institutions worldwide to improve the productivity, profitability, and sustainability of maize and wheat systems
for poor farmers in developing countries. It is one of 16 food and environmental organizations known as the Future Harvest Centers. Located around the
world, the centers conduct research in partnership with farmers, scientists, and policymakers to help alleviate poverty and increase food security while
protecting natural resources. They are principally supported by the nearly 60 countries, private foundations, and regional and international
organizations that make up the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) (www.cgiar.org). Financial support for CIMMYT's
research agenda also comes from many other sources, including foundations, development banks, and public and private agencies. Future Harvest, R a
not-for-profit organization, catalyzes action for a world with less poverty, a healthier global population, well-nourished children, and a better
environment. It supports research, promotes partnerships, and sponsors projects that bring the results of research to farmers in Africa, Asia, and Latin
America (see www.futureharvest.org).


S C M Ta @ International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) 2001. All rights reserved. The
opinions expressed in this publication are the sole responsibility of the authors. The designations
employed in the presentation of materials in this publication do not imply the expressions of any opinion whatsoever on the part of CIMMYT or its
contributory organizations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city, or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its
frontiers or boundaries. CIMMYT encourages fair use of this material. Proper citation is requested.

Printed in Mexico.

Correct citation: Abdissa Gemeda, Girma Aboma, H. Verkuijl, and W. Mwangi. 2001. Farmers' Maize Seed Systems in Western Oromia, Ethiopia.
Mexico, D.F: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and Ethiopian Agricultural Research Organization (EARO).

Abstract: This study was initiated in western Shewa and eastern Wellega zones of Oromia Regional State to describe the seed system and assess the
effectiveness of the seed testing and release mechanism; identify how farmers acquire and transfer maize seed; explore problems related to farmers'
seed acquisition and transfer mechanisms; and document the use of released maize varieties and hybrids. The major maize growing areas of western
Oromia were purposively classified into four strata: Bako-Tibe and Chaliya Woredas in western Shewa, and Bila-Sayo and Sibu-Sire Woredas in eastern
Wellega. Five peasant associations (PAs) were selected from each stratum. From each PA, 11 farmers were randomly selected and interviewed using a
structured questionnaire. The total sample size was 220 farmers. Descriptive statistics and tobit analysis were used to assess farmers' adoption of
improved maize seed and their seed management practices and strategies. Total area under improved maize increased in the study area from 1992 to
1996 and total area under local varieties decreased. Since 1995, total production of improved maize has surpassed the total production of local
varieties. During the 1996 cropping season, most farmers planted seed that had been saved from their previous harvest. The Ministry of Agriculture was
the next most common seed source. In all woredas, BH-660 was the preferred maize cultivar for its high yield, seed size, and early maturity. The main
problems constraining the use of improved maize seed were its high price, unavailability, and sometimes the distance traveled to acquire improved seed.
All farmers in Bako-Tibe and Sibu-Sire and about 83% of farmers in Bako-Tibe and Bila-Sayo replaced their hybrids every year. The average time since
farmers had purchased hybrid seed was 1.4 years in Chaliya, 2.3 in Bako-Tibe, 2.1 in Bila-Sayo, and 2 in Sibu-Sire. Most farmers selected seed during
harvesting using good looking grain/cobs as the most important selection criterion. Seed quality was good, according to most farmers, and was mostly
judged on the basis of grain filling and germination rate. Farmer education, extension services, off-farm income, and livestock units all significantly and
positively influenced the area of land allocated to improved maize. A farmer's proximity to a formal seed source had a positive impact on the allocation
of land to improved maize. Next to the extension system, farmer-to-farmer seed exchange remained the most important mechanism for disseminating
improved maize technology. The government can strengthen this informal system through the provision of low-interest finance, technical assistance, and
publicly bred parent material. The extension system should advise farmers on the characteristics and correct adaptation zones of newly released maize
cultivars. Maize breeding programs need to give proportionate weights to yield and non-yield characteristics when selecting the best varieties.

ISBN: 970-648-075-7
AGROVOC descriptors: Maize; Zea mays; Seed; Seed production; Seed industry; Production policies; Production factors; Technology transfer;
Economic environment; Production economics; High yielding varieties; Farmers; Varieties; Sampling; Technical aid; Surveys;
Hybrids; Ethiopia
Additional keywords: CIMMYT
AGRIS category codes: E14 Development Economics and Policies
F03 Seed Production
Dewey decimal classification: 338.1663











Contents


iv Tables
iv Figures
v Acronyms and Abbreviations
vi Acknowledgments
vii Executive Summary

1 1.0 Introduction
1 1.1 The Potential of Improved Seed and the Importance of the Seed Industry
2 1.2 The Local Seed Industry
3 1.3 Objectives of the Study
3 1.4 The Study Area

5 2.0 Methodology
5 2.1 Sampling Method
5 2.2 Analytical Model

8 3.0 Seed Supply
8 3.1 Seed Industry Structure
13 3.2 Mechanisms of Maize Seed Development and Supply
16 3.3 Policies and Institutions

18 4.0 Demographic and Socioeconomic Characteristics

20 5.0 Maize Cultivars Grown and Farmers' Seed Sources
20 5.1 Cultivars Grown
20 5.2 Seed Sources, Prices, and Rates
23 5.3 Farmers' Sources of Information on Improved Maize Seed

24 6.0 Maize Production Practices
24 6.1 Increased Use of Improved Maize Seed
25 6.2 Fertilizer and Pesticides
25 6.3 Farmers' Access to Information for Maize Production

26 7.0 Farmers' Management of Cultivars and Seed
26 7.1 Varietal Replacement
27 7.2 Farmers' Maize Seed Management
28 7.3 Quality of Seed and Strategies for Improving Quality

29 8.0 Tobit Analysis of Land Allocation to Improved Maize

31 9.0 Conclusions and Implications

32 References











Tables


10 Table 1. Area, yield, and production of wheat and all cereals, Ethiopia, 1988-98
10 Table 1. Seed distribution (000 t) by the Ethiopian Seed Enterprise, 1980-98
12 Table 2. Maize seed produced by the Ethiopian Seed Enterprise, Nekemte Branch, 1992-96
13 Table 3. Farmers' seed acquisition and exchange rate in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
14 Table 4. Area planted to improved and local varieties of major food crops in Ethiopia, 1996/97
18 Table 5. Seed imports by the Ethiopian Seed Enterprise, 1986-91
Table 6. Demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of sample farmers in western Oromia,
Ethiopia, 1996
19 Table 7. Education level of sample farmers in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
19 Table 8. Land use in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
19 Table 9. Land tenure in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
19 Table 10. Details of sharecropping arrangements, western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
19 Table 11. Livestock ownership by sample farmers in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
20 Table 12. Agronomic traits of maize cultivars released in western Oromia
21 Table 13. Maize cultivars grown by farmers in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1992 and 1996
21 Table 14. Preferred maize cultivars in western Oromia, 1996
21 Table 15. Reasons for farmers' preference for most popular maize cultivars, western Oromia,
Ethiopia, 1996
22 Table 16. Farmers' sources of maize seed in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996/97
23 Table 17. Advantages and disadvantages of acquiring seed from other farmers and the Ministry of
Agriculture, western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
23 Table 18. Distance traveled by farmers to purchase seed in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
23 Table 19. Farmers' sources of improved maize seed information in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
24 Table 20. Use of local/improved maize cultivars in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1992 and 1996
25 Table 21. Average production of local and improved maize in western Oromia, Ethiopia 1996
25 Table 22. Fertilizer use for maize production in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
26 Table 23. Farmers' access to information on maize production in western Oromia, Ethiopia,1996
27 Table 24. Replacement of improved maize seed by farmers in western Oromia, 1996
28 Table 25. Maize seed management by farmers in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
28 Table 26. Characteristics of good seed, according to farmers in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
29 Table 27. Tobit model estimates for land allocation to improved maize
31 Table 28. Tobit model estimates for land allocation to improved OPVs




Figures


4 Figure 1. Oromia, Ethiopia
4 Figure 2. The study area, western Oromia, Ethiopia
5 Figure 3. Woredas in western Oromia, Ethiopia
8 Figure 4. Seed distribution and marketing channels in the study area
24 Figure 5. Total area under improved maize production by woreda in western Oromia,
Ethiopia, 1992-96
24 Figure 6. Total area under local maize production by woreda in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1992-96
25 Figure 7. Total production of improved maize varieties by woreda in western Oromia,
Ethiopia, 1992-96
25 Figure 8. Total production of local maize varieties by woreda in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1992-96











Tables


10 Table 1. Area, yield, and production of wheat and all cereals, Ethiopia, 1988-98
10 Table 1. Seed distribution (000 t) by the Ethiopian Seed Enterprise, 1980-98
12 Table 2. Maize seed produced by the Ethiopian Seed Enterprise, Nekemte Branch, 1992-96
13 Table 3. Farmers' seed acquisition and exchange rate in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
14 Table 4. Area planted to improved and local varieties of major food crops in Ethiopia, 1996/97
18 Table 5. Seed imports by the Ethiopian Seed Enterprise, 1986-91
Table 6. Demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of sample farmers in western Oromia,
Ethiopia, 1996
19 Table 7. Education level of sample farmers in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
19 Table 8. Land use in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
19 Table 9. Land tenure in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
19 Table 10. Details of sharecropping arrangements, western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
19 Table 11. Livestock ownership by sample farmers in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
20 Table 12. Agronomic traits of maize cultivars released in western Oromia
21 Table 13. Maize cultivars grown by farmers in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1992 and 1996
21 Table 14. Preferred maize cultivars in western Oromia, 1996
21 Table 15. Reasons for farmers' preference for most popular maize cultivars, western Oromia,
Ethiopia, 1996
22 Table 16. Farmers' sources of maize seed in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996/97
23 Table 17. Advantages and disadvantages of acquiring seed from other farmers and the Ministry of
Agriculture, western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
23 Table 18. Distance traveled by farmers to purchase seed in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
23 Table 19. Farmers' sources of improved maize seed information in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
24 Table 20. Use of local/improved maize cultivars in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1992 and 1996
25 Table 21. Average production of local and improved maize in western Oromia, Ethiopia 1996
25 Table 22. Fertilizer use for maize production in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
26 Table 23. Farmers' access to information on maize production in western Oromia, Ethiopia,1996
27 Table 24. Replacement of improved maize seed by farmers in western Oromia, 1996
28 Table 25. Maize seed management by farmers in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
28 Table 26. Characteristics of good seed, according to farmers in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
29 Table 27. Tobit model estimates for land allocation to improved maize
31 Table 28. Tobit model estimates for land allocation to improved OPVs




Figures


4 Figure 1. Oromia, Ethiopia
4 Figure 2. The study area, western Oromia, Ethiopia
5 Figure 3. Woredas in western Oromia, Ethiopia
8 Figure 4. Seed distribution and marketing channels in the study area
24 Figure 5. Total area under improved maize production by woreda in western Oromia,
Ethiopia, 1992-96
24 Figure 6. Total area under local maize production by woreda in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1992-96
25 Figure 7. Total production of improved maize varieties by woreda in western Oromia,
Ethiopia, 1992-96
25 Figure 8. Total production of local maize varieties by woreda in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1992-96










Acronyms and Abbreviations



AAU Addis Ababa University
ACA Awasa College of Agriculture
AISCO Agricultural Inputs Supply Corporation
AUA Alemaya University of Agriculture
BRC Bako Research Center
BSI Breeder seed increase
CCT Christian Council of Tanzania
CIMMYT Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maiz y Trigo (International
Maize and Wheat Improvement Center)
CRI Crops Research Institute
CTDA Coffee and Tea Development Authority
DAP Diammonium phosphate
DZARC Debre Zeit Agricultural Research Center
EARO Ethiopian Agricultural Research Organization
EMTP Extension Management Training Plots
ESE Ethiopian Seed Enterprise
GLDB Grains and Legumes Development Board
GRCRI Genetic Resource Conservation and Research Institute
GSID Ghana Seed Inspection Division
IAR Institute of Agricultural Research
ICU Input Coordination Unit
IFAD International Fund for Agricultural Development
masl Meters above sea level
MOA Ministry of Agriculture
NGO Non-governmental organization
NSIA National Seed Industry Agency
NVRC National Variety Release Committee
NVT National Variety Trial
OPV Open-pollinated variety
PA Peasant association
PNVT Pre-national Variety Trial
PYT Preliminary Yield Trial
RVT Regional Varietal Trial
SC Service Cooperative
TOSCA Tanzania Official Seed Certification Agency
VVT Variety Verification Trial










Acknowledgements



Many people were involved in the field survey and development of this publication. The authors
are grateful to Tesema Tesso, Kasahun Gemechu, Bekele Gemechu, and Mesfin Haile for their
support in conducting the survey, data coding, data book preparation, and data entry. We are also
grateful to the enumerators for effectively administering the questionnaires to farmers and to our
drivers for their patient and careful driving on very difficult roads.

We would also like to extend our thanks to the farmers of Sibu-Sire, Bila-Sayo, Bako-Tibe, and
Chaliya woredas for patiently responding to our questions. The same applies to the agricultural
development workers and development agents at the respective sites who assisted us in the
implementation of the questionnaires. The financial support from the CIMMYT/European Union
(EU) Project on Strengthening Economics and Policy Research in Eastern Africa, and the invaluable
facilitation by the Oromia Regional State, which enabled us to conduct the study, are immensely
appreciated. We also thank the East Wellega and West Shewa Planning and Economic Development
office for providing us with an aerial map, and the Ethiopian Seed Enterprise, Agricultural Trading
Enterprise, and National Seed Industry Agency for responding to our need for information.

We are also grateful to Mulugeta Mekuria for making constructive comments during the pre-testing
of the questionnaire and enumerator training. Last but not least, we would like to thank Jane Reeves
for her capable editing and Tigist Defabachew for typing.











Executive Summary


Despite the importance of improved seed for bettering the livelihoods of small-scale farmers, access to this
invaluable technology in Ethiopia is still constrained by many factors including the underdeveloped seed
industry. Independent studies have estimated a large annual demand for seed that is never met or, in the
case of hybrid maize and sunflower, is met only through imports. Consequently, the government has
increased its efforts to develop plant breeding research networks and a complementary seed production,
multiplication, processing, storage, marketing, and distribution system. The private sector, including non-
governmental organizations (NGOs), has been encouraged to participate in the development of the
national seed industry.

This study was initiated in western Shewa and eastern Wellega zones of Oromia Regional State to:
1) describe the seed system in Ethiopia and assess the effectiveness of the seed testing and release
mechanism; 2) identify how farmers acquire and transfer maize seed; 3) explore problems related to
farmers' seed acquisition and transfer mechanisms; and 4) document the use of released maize cultivars.

Methods
The study used a multistage stratified sampling design. Based on informal assessment and secondary
data, the major maize growing areas of western Oromia were purposively classified into four strata: Bako-
Tibe and Chaliya Woredas in western Shewa, and Bila-Sayo and Sibu-Sire Woredas in eastern Wellega.
Five peasant associations (PAs) were selected from each stratum. From each PA, 11 farmers were
randomly selected and interviewed using a structured questionnaire. The total sample size was 220
farmers. Descriptive statistics and tobit analysis were used to establish relationships and draw inferences
and conclusions about farmers' adoption of improved maize seed and their seed management practices
and strategies.

The Seed Industry
The Ethiopian seed industry is composed of formal and informal sectors as well as public and private
organizations. The formal sector includes federal and regional agricultural research establishments,
universities, the National Seed Industry Agency (NSIA), the Ethiopian Seed Enterprise (ESE), and a few
private companies. The informal sector encompasses millions of farmers who continue to practice seed
selection and preservation, just as their ancestors did. Today, the bulk of the national seed demand is met
through this informal system of local seed maintenance and exchange.

The maize seed industry comprises two sequential processes: 1) varietal development, testing, and release;
and 2) seed multiplication, processing, certification, marketing, and distribution. At a minimum, seven
years are required to release a variety. Release may be unnecessarily delayed because of stringent varietal
release requirements.

Farmer Characteristics and Maize Production in the Study Area
The study area is located in western Oromia. In the mid-altitude zone, maize is the dominant crop for
smallholders. The average age of farmers was between 40 and 48 years, while the average holding was
between 12 to 15 timmad (1 timmad = 0.25 ha). There were more literate farmers in Bako-Tibe (65%)
compared to Chaliya (55%), Bila-Sayo (50%), and Sibu-Sire (58%). In all woredas, farmers had access to
off-farm income; however, there were differences in the amount generated. Cows and oxen were the
dominant livestock.










The total area under improved maize increased in the four woredas between 1992 and 1996, while the
total area under local varieties decreased. Also, since 1995, the total production of improved maize has
surpassed the total production of local varieties.

Seed Issues
Farmers in western Oromia grew 16 maize cultivars. The popular varieties in 1992 were Shashemene,
Burrie, and Kenya. In 1996, the popularity of these improved OPVs decreased due to the introduction of
improved maize hybrids particularly BH-660.

During the 1996 cropping season, most farmers planted seed that had been saved from their previous
harvest. The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) was the next most common seed source. The price of hybrid
maize seed from the MOA was about 600 Birr/100 kg compared to 50-80 Birr/100 kg for local maize seed
purchased in the local market (Birr 7 = US$ 1). In all woredas, BH-660 was preferred for its high yield,
seed size, and early maturity. Extension and other farmers were important sources of improved maize
information. Farmers mostly used their own financial resources to purchase improved maize seed. The
main problems indicated by farmers as constraining the use of improved maize seed were its high price
and unavailability. In some cases, the distance traveled to acquire improved seed was another constraint.

The NSIA estimated that the quantity of improved maize seed used in 1996 was 35,120 t, while ESE
distributed about 1,670 t of improved maize seed. This implies that about 5% of the improved seed was
purchased, while the remaining 95% was recycled improved seed.

All farmers in Bako-Tibe and Sibu-Sire and about 83% of farmers in Bako-Tibe and Bila-Sayo replaced
their hybrids every year. The average time (years) since farmers had purchased hybrid seed was 1.4 in
Chaliya, 2.3 in Bako-Tibe, 2.1 in Bila-Sayo, and 2 in Sibu-Sire. From farmers' responses it was estimated
that, on average, a hybrid needs to be replaced after about 1.7 years in Chaliya, 1.2 years in Bako-Tibe,
and 1 year in both Bila-Sayo and Sibu-Sire.

Most farmers selected seed during harvesting using good looking grain/cobs as the most important
selection criterion. Seed quality was good, according to most farmers, and was mostly judged on the
basis of grain filling and germination rate.

Factors Influencing the Allocation of Land to Improved Maize
Farmer education, extension services, off-farm income, and livestock units all significantly and positively
influenced the area of land allocated to improved maize. A farmer's proximity to a formal seed source
had a positive impact on the allocation of land to improved maize.

Recommendations
* Next to the extension system, farmer-to-farmer seed exchange remains the most important
mechanism for disseminating improved maize technology. The government can strengthen this
informal system through the provision of low-interest finance, technical assistance, and publicly
bred parent material.
* The extension system should advise farmers on the characteristics and correct adaptation zones of
newly released maize cultivars. Maize breeding programs need to give proportionate weights to
yield and non-yield characteristics when selecting the best varieties.









Farmers' Maize Seed Systems in


Western Oromia, Ethiopia

Abdissa Gemeda, Girma Aboma, Hugo Verkuijl, and Wilfred Mwangi









1.0 Introduction


1.1 The Potential of Improved Seed and the Importance
of the Seed Industry
The effectiveness of research results emanating from experiment stations is conditioned by the
strength and efficiency of support services such as extension, credit, and input supply, including the
supply of improved seed. The role of improved seed, particularly of wheat and rice, in alleviating
poverty has been widely debated (Dasgupta 1977; Singh 1990; DZARC 1995). Ellis (1993) outlined
the social and economic impact of improved varieties in countries where they have been widely
grown, and it is commonly observed that the dissemination of improved seed and complementary
inputs has removed the shadow of famine from the lives of millions of poor farm families. Because
improved seed embodies a plant's genetic potential, it determines the upper limits on yield and
even the productivity of other inputs (Jaffee and Srivastava 1994).

Despite the importance of improved seed for bettering the welfare of small-scale farmers, access to
this invaluable technology can be constrained by many factors, including an underdeveloped seed
industry. A seed industry essentially consists of all enterprises that produce or distribute seed (Pray
and Ramaswami 1991). At a minimum, the industry has four components: 1) plant breeding
research, 2) seed production and multiplication, 3) processing and storage, and 4) marketing and
distribution. The industry's overall performance depends on the efficiency of each component, and
each component possesses different economic and technical characteristics that determine the roles
that public and private organizations play within the industry. These characteristics include
economies of scale, externalities, excludability, and problems of information or quality.

The development of new varieties and hybrids can be profitable for specialized research and
development firms. However, owing to 1) the high fixed costs of entering the industry, 2) the
externalities associated with plant breeding, and 3) the difficulty of excluding non-paying farmers
or firms from benefiting from new seed varieties, the amount and direction of private sector
investment in these activities may be insufficient or inappropriate. The significance of these










difficulties will vary, depending on whether the seed is of hybrid or self-pollinating plants. Because
the desirable properties of hybrids are attenuated if hybrid seed is grown over successive
generations, farmers must buy new seed to achieve undiminished yields. The originator of a new
hybrid can therefore easily exclude competing seed firms and farmers from the benefits of the new
hybrid if they have not paid for access. In contrast, breeders of new self-pollinated varieties may
capture few of the benefits because others (including farmers) can easily duplicate the variety
without paying for it.

The dissemination of improved seed to small-scale farmers can also be constrained by the varietal
release committee. Some regulatory frameworks are neither sufficiently responsive to the needs of
small-scale farmers nor adequately adapted to changing institutional environments (ODI 1995).
Furthermore, significant biases in the way that varieties are developed and released mean that
small-scale farmers are less likely to benefit from the product. Similarly, seed multiplication and
distribution regulations often hinder farmers' access to seed and varieties that would be useful to
them. A report by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) (1995) stated that no solution will be
perfect, but regulatory frameworks that take account of farmers' conditions and preferences, and
that allow their participation, are likely to be steps in the right direction.

The skills required to multiply seed of a new variety or hybrid and the technical and commercial
risks associated with this activity are considerably lower than those associated with research to
develop a new variety or hybrid. For this reason, there are fewer economic and technical barriers to
private sector involvement in seed multiplication than research. Even so, excludability may be a
serious problem in some instances because harvested grain of self- and open-pollinated crops
resembles commercial seed. The private sector can profitably perform most seed distribution
functions; public sector distribution of seed can be justified only in the early stages of seed industry
development, when private channels are weak.

Another important mechanism responsible for the majority of seed diffusion in various farming
systems is informal farmer-to-farmer seed exchange. This operates mainly at individual community
levels, although lines of supply may extend over a relatively wide geographical area. These channels
are more accessible and affordable sources of seed for farmers. An accurate understanding of the
role of improved seed in small-scale farming systems and of the mechanisms by which seed reaches
small farmers is therefore critical to fostering agricultural development (ODI 1990a).




1.2 The Local Seed Industry
Maize was introduced in Ethiopia in the 16th or 17th century. Despite the existence of some local
cultivars, the genetic diversity of those cultivars was insufficient for establishing suitable source
populations. Since its establishment in the 1950s, the national maize research program has been
introducing germplasm from exotic sources. Beginning in 1967, Ethiopia has systematically
participated in the East Africa Cooperative Maize Trial, which has resulted in the evaluation of
several promising varieties. The hybrids from Kenya and Zimbabwe had a 30% yield advantage
over tested varieties, however, so the state farms were encouraged to import Kenyan hybrids. In the
beginning of the 1980s, a vigorous national maize breeding program was started and located at Bako










Research Center (BRC). Since 1988, this program has developed a number of outstanding hybrids:
BH-140, BH-660, and BH-540 (Benti Tolessa et al. 1996).

Improved seed goes through elaborate procedures such as on-farm verification, on-farm
demonstration, and pilot production stages before being approved for release by the National
Variety Release Committee (NVRC). The role of releasing improved varieties is now performed by
the National Seed Industry Agency (NSIA), which acts as the overall watchdog for the seed
industry. A dynamic informal seed sector exists alongside the formal sector, where farmers exchange
seed. The role of both sectors in the supply of seed to farmers will be outlined in this paper.

The Ethiopian Seed Enterprise (ESE) dominates the production/multiplication, processing, and
distribution of seed of new major crop varieties in Ethiopia in general, and in particular in western
Oromia. The ESE manager at the Nekemte Branch reported that before 1990, ESE imported parental
lines from Kenya (H625) and Zimbabwe (CG4141) and produced seed by making contractual
agreements either with private investors, the Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR, now renamed
Ethiopian Agricultural Research Organization, EARO), or state farms. The Agricultural Inputs
Supply Corporation (AISCO) distributed seed, as well as other major inputs such as fertilizer.

After the economic reform in 1991, policies changed and the importation of parental lines was
discontinued. Since 1991, ESE has obtained breeder and/or basic seed from the IAR (EARO),
regional research centers, Alemaya University of Agriculture (AUA), and Awasa College of
Agriculture (ACA). It also makes contractual agreements with private investors, EARO, seed farms,
and state farms for the production/multiplication of improved maize seed.



1.3 Objectives of the Study
The formal seed sector alone is not sufficient to meet farmers' seed needs, and hence cannot produce
a sustainable increase in production and productivity to realize national objectives of food self-
sufficiency and food security. Thus it is expected that the informal seed sector has an important role
to play. Specifically, this study was designed to:

* Describe the seed system in Ethiopia and assess the effectiveness of the seed testing and release
mechanism.
* Identify how farmers acquire and transfer seed of maize cultivars.
* Explore problems related to farmers' seed acquisition and transfer mechanisms.
* Document the use of released maize cultivars.



1.4 The Study Area
Eastern Wellega and western Shewa zones are among 12 zones in Oromia (Figures 1 and 2). These
zones have different agro-ecologies, but the study focused on the mid-altitude zone, where maize is
the dominant crop for smallholders. Here, the elevation ranges from 1,500 meters above sea level
(masl) to over 2,000 masl. Soils are mainly reddish brown clay dominated by nitosols. The survey
area is located at 906' N and 37009' E, with an average annual rainfall of 1,320 mm at Bako. The
temperature ranges from 14.10C to 28.30C and the average relative humidity is 67.2%.

































I u u 4uu ouu tiometen Figure 1. Oromia, Ethiopia.






E Welega ,
C?0 a WShewa -
Gimbi p L t


SJimma *Asela

'Robe



Negele




300 0 300 600 Kilometers Figure 2. The study area, western
SOromia, Ethiopia.



The total population in the two zones is about two million people. The major crops grown include
maize, sorghum, pepper, noug, finger millet, teff, wheat, barley, field peas, faba beans, sweet
potatoes, anchote, and gomencher. The main types of livestock kept include cattle, sheep, goats,
equines, and chickens. The farming system is mixed crop-livestock.

The principal production constraints that have been identified in other studies are: 1) shortage of
draft power; 2) labor shortage during the peak season; 3) low soil fertility; 4) low income; 5) shortage
of feed during the dry season; 6) crop pests and diseases; 7) animal diseases and parasites; and
8) low genetic potential of local crop varieties and cattle breeds.











2.0 Methodology



2.1 Sampling Method
A multi-stage purposive sampling procedure was used to select farmers in eastern Wellega and
western Shewa. The major maize growing areas were selected based on an informal survey and
secondary data sources. In eastern Wellega, Bila-Sayo and Sibu-Sire Woredas were selected and
Bako-Tibe and Chaliya Woredas were selected in western Shewa (Figure 3. Proximity to BRC was a
second stratifying parameter: Bila-Sayo and Bako-Tibe Woredas are much closer to the BRC than
Chaliya and Sibu-Sire. It was hypothesized that farmers nearer to BRC benefited more from
improved maize cultivars. Five peasant associations (PAs) were randomly selected from each
woreda, from which 11 smallholder farmers per PA were randomly selected and interviewed using a
structured questionnaire. The total sample size was 220 farmers.









BILA SEYO
SIBU SIRE Jare
CHELIYA
BAKO TIBE


Gedo







30 0 30 60 Kilometers Figure 3. Woredas in Western
Oromia, Ethiopia.



2.2 Analytical Model
Factors influencing the adoption of new agricultural technologies can be divided into three major
categories: 1) farm and farmers' associated attributes; 2) attributes associated with the technology
(Adesina and Zinnah 1992; Misra et al. 1993); and 3) the farming objective (CIMMYT 1988). Factors
in the first category include the farmer's education level, age, and family and farm size. The second
category varies with the type of technology, e.g., the characteristics a farmer prefers in improved
maize. The third category assesses how different strategies used by the farmer, such as commercial
versus subsistence farming, influence the adoption of technologies.










In this study, a tobit model was used to test the factors affecting the allocation of land to improved
maize. The model, which tested the factors affecting the incidence and intensity of adoption
(McDonald and Moffitt 1980; Maddala 1983) was specified as follows:

Y, = Xp + U if Xt+ U > 0
0 if Xfp + U,< 0
t = 1,2,..., N
where:

Yt = the expected amount of land allocated to improved maize at a given stimulus level, X;
N = number of observations;
X, = vector of independent variables;
p = vector of unknown coefficients; and
Ut = independently distributed error term assumed to be normal with zero mean and
constant variance 02.

Xt is the index reflecting the combined effect of the independent (X) variables that inhibit or
promote adoption. The index level Xt can be specified as:

Xt = O+ P1X+-....+ P13X13 i

where:

b0 = constant;
X, = FSIZE (farm size, timmad);
X2 = EXP (experience of the household head, yr);
X, = EDUC (education level of household head, dummy variable);
X4 = LSTOCK (livestock units; index in which livestock numbers are aggregated using
the following weighting factors: oxen and cow = 1.0, goat = 0.08, sheep = 0.08, poultry = 0.02);
X5 = EXT (farmer received extension visit, number);
X6 = HSIZE (family labor, number of adults in the household);
X7 = FDAY (farmer attended a field day, dummy variable);
X, = YOFI (amount of off-farm income, Birr);
X9 = HLAB (use of hired labor, dummy variable);
X,1 = HYLD (farmer's preference for high yield, dummy variable);
Xl = LODG (farmer's preference for lodging resistance, dummy variable);
X12 = IMPURE (farmer's preference for pure seed, dummy variable);
X13 = CONDITIO (farmers condition their seed, dummy variable); and
e. = error term.

Formation of the model was influenced by a number of working hypotheses. It was hypothesized
that a farmer's decision to adopt or reject a new technology at any time is influenced by the
combined (simultaneous) effects of a number of factors related to the farmer's objectives and
constraints (CIMMYT 1993). The following variables were hypothesized to influence the allocation
of land to improved maize, either hybrids or improved open-pollinated varieties (OPVs).










Farm size: Farm size (X,) is an indicator of wealth and perhaps a proxy for social status and
influence within a community. It is expected to be positively associated with the decision to adopt
improved maize technology. Farm size can also encourage farmers to intensify their production, in
which case a larger farm size is expected to be negatively related to the adoption of improved
maize technology.


Experience: A farmer's experience (X2) can either generate or erode confidence. With more
experience, a farmer can become more or less averse to the risk implied by adopting a new
technology. This variable can thus have a positive or negative effect on a farmer's decision to adopt
an improved maize technology.


Education: Exposure to education (X,) should increase a farmer's ability to obtain, process, and use
information relevant to the adoption of improved maize technology. Education is thus thought to
increase the probability that a farmer will adopt an improved maize technology.


Livestock: Ownership of livestock (X4) is hypothesized to be positively related to the adoption of
improved maize technologies.


Extension: Agricultural extension services provided by the MOA are the major source of
agricultural information in the study area. It is hypothesized that contact with extension workers
(X5) will increase a farmer's likelihood of adopting improved maize technologies.


Household size: Large households will be able to provide the labor that might be required by the
improved maize technologies. Thus, household size (X6) would be expected to increase the
probability of adopting improved maize technologies.


Field days: Attending a field day (X7) will increase a farmer's awareness of new technologies and
hence increase the probability of adopting improved maize.


Off-farm income: Access to off-farm income (X,) enables farmers to purchase inputs and is
expected to have a positive influence on the adoption of improved maize.


Hired labor: Hired labor (X,) helps farmers to overcome labor constraints, especially with respect
to the number of hand weedings required for improved maize. Thus, hired labor is expected to
have a positive influence on the adoption of maize technologies.


Varietal characteristics: A number of varietal characteristics are expected to positively influence the
allocation of land to improved maize. It is expected that farmers prefer varieties that are high
yielding (X,1) and resistant to lodging (X1,). Also, adopters are expected to want pure (X12) and
well-conditioned (X1) seed.










3.0 Seed Supply



3.1 Seed Industry Structure
Douglas (1980) showed that seed supply systems in most countries pass through four evolutionary
stages characterized by increasing technological and organizational complexity:

1. Farmers save their own seed from crop to crop by selecting the most productive plants. They also
exchange seed with a few farmers.
2. A specialized government agricultural department emerges under pressure from farmers and
conducts plant breeding research and varietal development. A few farmers specialize in
multiplying and distributing seed released by the government research stations.
3. Private seed companies enter the seed industry and invest in plant breeding research and
development, seed growing, processing, and marketing.
4. Plant breeding and seed production and marketing become highly organized and technologically
intensive. Both public and private organizations engage in seed production, marketing, and
international trade.

The Ethiopian seed industry is currently at the second stage of development. Improved varieties are
developed by the national agricultural research system and development programs or introduced
from outside. Public institutions are responsible for producing and distributing seed to farmers,
although some private companies are now entering the seed industry and have started research on
hybrid seed production, marketing, and distribution.

The NSIA was established in 1993 to strengthen the seed industry in Ethiopia. Its objective is to
increase the flow of seed to farmers. The supply of seed is constrained by inefficiency of public seed
enterprises, poor seed promotion, poor transportation, and inappropriate agricultural and pricing
policies. Moreover, because high-yielding varieties perform well with fertilizers, the limited
availability of fertilizers constrains the demand for improved seed. As a result, most seed in the
peasant sector is still produced by farmers (Hailu Gebremariam 1992).

The Ethiopian seed industry is thus characterized by formal and informal sectors. For the industry to
evolve into the third stage of its life cycle, linking of the formal and informal systems and promotion
of private sector provision of seed will be important. The advantages of linking the two systems are
that farmers can maintain seed quality, the informal system can widely distribute seed, and the
informal system is more effective in selecting and diffusing appropriate varieties (Thiele 1999).

The formal sector includes research institutions, MOA, development projects, and public and private
seed enterprises. The participants in the informal sector are farmers, non-governmental organizations
(NGOs), and relief agencies.
The seed distribution channels Seed distribution before 1991
in the study area changed in IS[ I -)s ar[lmerla l H
1991 due to political and Seed distribution after 1991
economic reforms as depicted Il l I t lieA
in Figure 4. Figure 4. Seed distribution and marketing channels in the study area.
Source: Respective district agricultural development offices, 1997, pers. comm.


I

r










3.1.1 The formal sector. Most seed for cropping is obtained from the previous harvest. Nevertheless,
farmers periodically obtain seed from beyond the farm gate, and their sources include other farmers,
commercial seed dealers, NGOs, national research institutes, or other public agencies. Seed may be
brought into the farm to cover deficits following harvest failures; introduce new varieties; and
provide seed of better quality, either physiologically and/or genetically.

Many organizations have developed strategies to stimulate the flow of improved seed to farmers
(Wiggins and Cromwell 1995). During the 1960s and 1970s, many countries received funding from
donors to set up national seed production and distribution programs, with public agencies carrying
out most of the activities. For example, the FAO Seed Development and Improvement Program
supported 60 countries during 1972-84; the World Bank supported 13 national seed projects and 100
other seed-related projects during 1975-85; and USAID provided long-term support to public bodies
concerned with seed in 57 countries during 1958-87 (Wiggins and Cromwell 1995). The support from
the formal sector, however, has been disappointing. The public agencies often lacked sufficient
resources, or their staff lacked incentives or were poorly managed. Consequently, they produced less
seed than expected and frequently at a higher cost than the private sector. Also, the seed suppliers
had difficulty in supplying seed to farmers in marginal areas (Wiggins and Cromwell 1995).

In Ethiopia, varietal development is handled by EARO, Alemaya University of Agriculture (AUA),
Addis Ababa University (AAU), and regional and state agricultural research centers. Virtually all
plant breeding has been done by public institutions, although Pioneer Hi-Bred International has been
involved in some varietal development.

Before a variety or hybrid can be recommended for release, it must be evaluated in farmers' fields for
disease resistance, productivity, stability, and quality. After on-farm verification and evaluation,
NVRC officially releases the varieties. This procedure is sometimes violated. For instance, in 1991,
Pioneer tried to produce 144 ha of hybrid maize seed and 60 ha of sunflower using imported seed
that had not been officially tested, verified, and released. The company harvested only 71.1 t of maize
seed and the sunflower did not even set seed.

In 1979, ESE was incorporated to produce, process, and market seed. Initially, ESE only supplied
improved varieties to state farms and producer cooperatives that were the foundation of the socialist
economy. Now it is governed by an interministerial seed board and has been given autonomous
status to function as a profit-making enterprise. This organization was the only seed enterprise in
Ethiopia until December 1990, when it entered into partnership with Pioneer Hi-Bred International
(Hailu Gebremariam 1992). 1

The national maize program at BRC and AUA supplies ESE with improved and basic seed that ESE
multiplies at two of its basic seed farms. ESE also produces seed under contractual arrangements
with state farms and private producers. The organization maintains five processing plants, from
which it also distributes seed. These plants are located in Awassa, Assela, Koffela, Nekemte, and
Bahir Dar. From 1980 to 1991, ESE produced and distributed an average of 23,065 t of seed per year



1 Thejoint venture was discontinued in December 1995 as part of the reform to liberalize the economy.











(Table 1). Since 1994, ESE has increased its seed supply because the government embarked on a
major effort to promote improved seed through its extension management training plots (EMTPs).
During 1995-98, about 15% of ESE's seed was distributed to state farms, 55% to EMTPs, and about
30% to others. In 1998, 67.5% of the distributed seed was wheat, 31% was maize, 1% was barley, and
0.5% was of other crops.

The type and amount of maize seed produced by the ESE-Nekemte Branch is shown in Table 2. The
table shows an increase in production of the recommended maize hybrids BH-660, BH-550, and BH-
140. The production of Beletech and CG-4141 was discontinued in 1994 because they did not
perform as well as the recommended hybrids.

The ESE processes seed that is produced through contractual agreements made with private
enterprises, EARO, regional research centers, and state farms. The contractual agreement is signed
between ESE and the contractor and entails the following obligations: all production costs are borne
by the seed producer; the inspection cost and cost of the jute bags is borne by ESE; and ESE pays for
the raw seed.

The ESE sells its seed to farmers and interested organizations, such as MOA, Sasakawa-Global 2000
(SG-2000), state farms, and different administrative regions. In 1996, the price of improved maize
seed at the ESE-Nekemte Branch was Birr 547/100 kg (Birr 7 = US$ 1). The ESE head office in Addis
Ababa sets the price of seed, which is based on the cost of raw seed, processing, transportation, in-
bred line, and overhead. Also, a 5% profit margin is added to the price of seed. The ESE has
acknowledged that it was not meeting the demand for maize seed and reported a shortage of inbred
lines supplied by EARO.


Table 1. Seed distribution (000 t) by the Ethiopian Seed
Enterprise, 1980-98


Wheat
19.08
18.85
16.43
16.57
12.25
21.77
25.54
19.91
18.81
9.19
8.81
7.1
6.96
11.09
12.06
10.13
12.37
8.18
11.08
266.18


Barley
0.26
0.74
0.29
0.87
1.65
1.72
1.83
2.16
4.12
1.39
0.71
1.24
1.23
0.31
0.17
0.15
0.27
0.37
0.14
19.62


Maize
1.16
2.35
1.42
2.50
1.30
12.58
11.78
8.28
4.51
3.16
3.87
1.14
1.53
2.38
3.61
2.63
1.89
1.67
4.25
72.01


Sorghum
0.20
0.17
0.15
0.05
0.26
0.07
1.12
1.44
2.15
0.94
0.61
0.10
0.19
2.06
0.29
0.58
0.16
0.007
0.01
10.56


Total
20.72
22.24
18.56
20.21
15.58
36.92
40.83
32.32
30.17
14.89
14.74
9.61
11.8
17.26
18.55
13.53
15.05
10.6
15.53
379.02


Source: Hailu Gebremariam (1992); ESE (1999).


The seed required for the peasant sector is
collected from the processing plants by AISCO
and distributed to farmers through the service
cooperatives (SCs) and PAs. There has always
been some discrepancy between the amount of
seed ordered and purchased by AISCO. For
example, between 1985/86 and 1990/91, AISCO
annually ordered 24,688 t of seed from ESE and



Table 2. Maize seed produced by the Ethiopian Seed
Enterprise, Nekemte Branch, 1992-96
Quantity produced per year (100 kg)
Variety 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996
BH-660 50 1,593 3,194 3,756 12,045
BH-140 470 2,577 450 3,906 6,038
BH-540 100 100 400
Abobako 200 -
Beletech 2,000 205 445
Kuleni 113
CG-4141 3,528 1,875 375










purchased only about 21%, which left ESE with a large residual seed stock every year.
Furthermore, AISCO distributed only part (60%) of what it had purchased. This discrepancy in
production and distribution of seed to peasant farmers is caused by problems in demand
assessment, the seed distribution mechanism, seed quality, and the seed price and credit system
(Hailu Gebremariam 1992).

At present ESE distributes seed directly to SCs through district agricultural development offices.
The ESE seed prices should be lower than those of AISCO because the costs of ESE services are
less. Formerly AISCO charged Birr 20/100 kg above the price it paid to ESE for its services
(Hailu Gebremariam 1992). There is no independent national seed quality control and
certification scheme, although ESE has its own internal quality control facilities. As a result, none
of the commercial seed distributed by ESE is certified, and farmers and development workers
have sometimes disputed the purity and quality (Hailu Beyene 1993). The major constraint for
multiplication of hybrid maize seed is an increase in susceptibility to gray leaf spot. The OPVs
A511 and Katumani are not well maintained.

In general, commercial farmers take advantage of the formal seed sector. They are located mostly
in high potential areas with a relatively well-established market infrastructure. These farmers
follow different strategies for seed acquisition depending on their participation in the ongoing
package program and their capacity to follow package recommendations. Farmers who host
EMTPs have access to credit for the acquisition of package components, namely, seed and
fertilizer. Extension, education, and technical support are given in accordance with the cropping
calendar. The down payment for inputs is determined by MOA staff at the woreda level and
depends on the ability of each host farmer to pay. It ranges from 5% to 50% of the cost of inputs
supplied, and the balance is settled at the time of harvesting.

Some farmers who participate in the package extension program host EMTPs for a few years (1-2
years). After they stop hosting, they become graduate farmers. Another group of farmers learns
the practices either from graduates or package host-farmers and are called copy farmers. The two
groups of farmers usually buy seed that has been distributed to EMTP host-farmers on a cash
basis. Although they have access to credit, they rarely make use of it due to a lack of information,
unavailability, and/or the complicated bureaucratic procedures required to access credit.

The Oromia Agricultural Development Bureau determines the amount of credit disbursed to
farmers. A farmer's eligibility is assessed by the Input Coordination Unit (ICU) at the zonal and
woreda level. This unit is responsible for disbursing and collecting credit from farmers. The
committee starts its assessment of farmers' credit needs between November and February. The
farmers are advised about credit availability as well as the consequences of defaulting on
payment.

As noted, BRC plays an important role in developing improved maize and in producing basic
and certified seed that is sold to ESE. This research center has produced an average of 883 qt of
BH-660 on 56 ha and 441 qt of BH-540 on 45 ha annually. In 1996, the price of hybrid maize seed
at BRC was Birr 225/qt.










3.1.2 The informal sector. The most common form of seed exchange in African countries is from
farmer to farmer. This system has a number of advantages for farmers over formal seed exchange. It
uses indigenous structures for information flow and exchange of goods, and its informal nature makes
it less rigid than the formal sector. Furthermore, it operates at the community level between
households within a small number of communities, so farmers have easy access to seed and often
know the farmer from whom they obtain the seed. Availability is further enhanced by the wide variety
of exchange mechanisms that are used to transfer seed between individuals and households, such as
cash, exchanges in kind, barter, or transfers based on social obligations (Table 3). This is especially
important for households that have limited resources to purchase seed. A further benefit of this
exchange system is that farmers are able to acquire seed in the quantities they want (Cromwell 1996).

Ethiopian farmers have been practicing seed selection and preservation for centuries and, as we have
noted, the bulk of the national seed requirement is still met through this informal system. Of the total
annual seed requirement (about 0.42 million tons), 15% is produced by the formal sector as improved
seed stock, whereas 85% is produced by the informal farmer-to-farmer exchange system as local
varieties (Table 4). Most farmers in western Shewa (68.4%) and eastern Wellega (41.5%) bartered maize
seed for grain at a rate of 1 kg of seed for 1 kg of grain. About 5% of farmers in western Shewa and
21% in eastern Wellega purchased their local maize seed at a rate of Birr 90/100 kg (Table 3).

Non-governmental organizations are involved in the supply of seed for a variety of reasons. Most
NGOs concentrate on providing source seed, other inputs, and technical assistance aimed at
strengthening local community-driven multiplication of improved hybrids, OPVs, and enhanced local
varieties. They distribute seed that is developed and multiplied by the formal research system and
contract farmers. A drawback of this system is that seed quality varies due to lack of regulation. In
some cases when NGOs wanted to ensure that seed quality was adequate, agencies inspected the
growing seed crops and certified the seed. The links with government programs consisted of
information exchange, contract services for the provision of source seed, seed testing, and field
inspections. The NGOs had little contact with the private sector.

The average seed price set by NGOs was roughly US$ 0.85/kg higher than the price of seed produced
by the formal sector. The higher costs of small-scale seed production by NGOs resulted from
considerable overhead costs, and the NGOs themselves recovered only 25-50% of their seed
production costs from seed sales. Equity issues were rarely addressed, and most of the participants
were better-off farmers who were considered to be more effective at multiplying seed (Wiggins and
Cromwell 1995).


Table 3. Farmers' seed acquisition and exchange rate in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
Western Shewa Eastern Wellega
Means of Number of Percent of Number of Percent of Exchange
acquiring seed farmers farmers farmers farmers rate
Purchased 3 5.3 11 20.8 Birr 0.9:1 kg
Bartered with grain 39 68.4 22 41.5 1 kg: 1 kg
Bartered with labor 1 1.9
Obtained free of charge 14 24.6 18 34.9


v










Table 4. Area planted to improved and local varieties of major food crops in Ethiopia, 1996/97
Harvested Area under Quantity of Percent area Percent area
area improved varieties improved seed planted to planted to
Crop ('000 ha) ('000 ha) used ('000 qt) local materials improved materials
Teff 2396.9 92.7 27.8 96.1 3.9
Bread wheat 855.1 770.0 1155.0 10.0 90.0
Durum wheat 571.1 22.8 22.8 96.0 4.0
Barley 1370.1 23.0 25.3 83.2 16.8
Maize (OPVs, hybrids) 1951.1 1170.7 351.2 40.0 60.0
Sorghum 1750.1 420.0 42.0 76.0 24.0
Finger millet 442.0 0.0 0.0 100.0 0.0
Oats 71.3 71.3 71.3 0.0 100.0
Total cereals 9407.7 2570.5 1695.4 72.7 27.3
Faba beans 510.4 5.1 10.2 99.0 1.0
Field peas 245.0 1.2 1.8 99.5 0.5
Chick peas 229.2 0.5 0.4 97.6 2.4
Lentils 81.8 0.0 0.0 100.0 0.0
Grass peas 165.4 0.0 0.0 100.0 0.0
Haricot beans 174.8 131.4 196.6 25.0 75.0
Total pulses 1406.6 138.2 209.0 90.2 9.8
Noug (niger seed) 250.5 0.2 0.02 99.0 1.0
Linseed 148.2 0.16 0.04 98.0 2.0
Rapeseed 21.4 0.83 0.01 85.0 15.0
Sesame 18.5 0.0 0.05 100.0 0.0
Groundnuts 17.4 0.63 0.0 80.0 20.0
Fenugreek 17.3 0.0 0.0 100.0 0.0
Sunflowers 5.2 0.0 0.0 90.4 9.6
Total oilseeds 478.5 1.82 0.12 99.6 0.4
Total 11292.8 2710.5 1904.5 76.0 24.0
Source: National Seed Industry Agency, 1998, unpublished data.


Another role of NGOs is to distribute relief seed after emergencies such as war or drought (Tripp
1997). In Ethiopia, distribution of relief seed is often dispersed and badly coordinated. Initially, NGOs
were assumed to be responsible for acquiring and providing early generation seed to service
cooperatives at cost, including transport. The distribution of free seed by NGOs and relief agencies has
actually had several negative effects by creating dependency on free services, disrupting the informal
farmer-to-farmer seed exchange system, and weakening sustainable development in the seed
subsector (Hailu Gebremariam 1992). Nevertheless, NGOs have tended to work well with small-scale,
resource-poor farmers, who are mostly located in remote and inaccessible areas.




3.2 Mechanisms of Maize Seed Development and Supply
3.2.1 Varietal development, testing, and release. Maize research in Ethiopia has greatly depended on
introduced germplasm, which may be used as parental stock for further research or included in the
Regional Varietal Trial (RVT). Materials in the RVT are evaluated further (mainly for yield, disease
resistance, and other desirable traits) in the Preliminary Yield Trial (PYT) and the Pre-national Variety
Trial (PNVT) for two years. Promising genotypes are included in the National Variety Trial (NVT) for










further evaluation for two to three years at five to seven locations in major maize growing
environments. The best materials from NVT and RVT are included in the Variety Verification Trial
(VVT), which is conducted on research stations as well as on farmers' fields under recommended and
farmers' management levels for one to two years. The objectives of the VVT are to obtain farmers'
pre- and post-harvest assessment of varieties, evaluate the performance of the varieties in a real
production system, and assist in the decision of the variety release committee.

The variety release committee is composed of professionals from different research and seed user
organizations, e.g., EARO, NSIA, ESE, and MOA. The committee considers mostly biological factors
in deciding to release a variety, and there is no guarantee that farmers' preferences and priorities are
fully represented. In general, seven years are required to release a variety. Sometimes release may be
unnecessarily delayed because of the stringent variety release requirements. After a variety is
released, it is included in Breeder Seed Increase (BSI). Breeder seed is then provided to BRC to
generate basic/foundation seed, and then to ESE for further multiplication on large plots.

3.2.2 Seed imports. Aside from producing seed to meet local demand, ESE is also responsible for
importing seed. Between 1986 and 1991, ESE imported nearly 3,000 t of seed (Table 5), mostly hybrid
maize from Kenya and hybrid sunflower from Argentina. After establishing a joint venture with


Table 5. Seed imports by the Ethiopian Seed Enterprise, 1986-91

Year Crop Country Quantity (t) Price (US$/t)

1986 Hybrid maize Kenya 3.8 750.0
Malt barley Kenya 0.5 900.0
1987 Hybrid maize Kenya 980.0 996.0
Hybrid maize Zimbabwe 120.0 834.7
Malt barley Spain 150.0 626.0
Sunflower Argentina 11.0 3,513.2
1988 Hybrid maize Kenya 580.0 869.7
Maize, basic Kenya 30.0 899.8
Sorghum Kenya 10.0 869.7
Maize, basic France 2.0 22,434.1
Sunflower Zimbabwe 33.0 3,821.3
Sunflower Argentina 30.0 3,821.3
Sunflower, basic Argentina 0.15 84,000.0
Pepper Argentina 0.1 43,500.0
1989 Maize, basic Zimbabwe 2.5 17,076.4
Sunflower Argentina 47.5 4,471.2
1990 Sunflower Argentina 11.5 3,022.4
Maize, basic Malawi 0.3 21,866.7
Cotton Israel 0.6 10,225.0
1991 Hybrid maize Kenya 900.0 1,000.0
1992 Hybrid maize Zimbabwe 2.0 18,000.0
1993 Hybrid maize Zimbabwe 2.4 18,000.0
1994 Hybrid maize Zimbabwe 2.1 18,000.0
1995 Hybrid maize Zimbabwe 2.5 19,000.0
1996 Hybrid maize Zimbabwe 2.0 20,000.0
1997 Hybrid maize Malawi 2.0 20,000.0
1998 Hybrid maize Zimbabwe 2.8 19,000.0
Total 2,973.2
Source: Hailu Gebremariam (1992); ESE (1999); unpublished data.










Pioneer Hi-Bred International in 1990, ESE imported more seed. Increasing seed imports may
have a negative impact on national efforts to develop adapted, high-yielding varieties and
hybrids, on creating a sustainable seed supply that would foster self-sufficiency, and on the
conservation and sustainable use of indigenous germplasm (Hailu Gebremariam 1992). On the
other hand, increased imports reflect ESE's inability to meet domestic seed demand.

3.2.3 Seed distribution and marketing. The institutions involved in seed distribution and
marketing are ESE, AISCO, Development Bank of Ethiopia, Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, SCs,
and private organizations.

Commercial seed production and processing are handled by ESE. AISCO distributes seed through
SCs, which receive loans from the Development Bank and Commercial Bank to purchase seed.
Although it is envisaged that the private sector will play an important role in the seed industry in
the future, the contribution of private firms in supplying seed of the major food grains is still
small (Hailu Gebremariam 1992). Private companies, such as Ethiopia Amalgamated Ltd.,
Ambassel, and Dinsho Trading Enterprises, have recently entered the seed industry, buying seed
from ESE and distributing it to a limited number of farmers on commission.

The promotion of improved seed by ESE has been limited. It also seems that sometimes ESE is not
aware of which varieties farmers want. Better marketing could play an important role in the
diffusion of new varieties. For example, a greater effort could be made to advise farmers on the
benefits of improved varieties and to differentiate between grain and improved seed.

3.2.4 Local seed supply. A typical farmer-managed seed production process consists of the
following steps. Farmers rogue their growing crops by hand to remove diseased and off-type
plants. Selection is usually carried out based on characteristics including high yield, low input
(including labor) requirement, resistance to pests and diseases, particular processing, cooking and
taste qualities, storability, and good yield of non-grain biomass (leaves and stalks). It is important
to note that subsistence farmers select for yield stability, which is associated with diversity within
and between crops and cultivars (Almekinders et al. 1994).

The crops are harvested by hand, which avoids mechanical damage to the seed and
contamination with weed seeds and other inert material. After harvest, crops are often threshed
and cleaned by hand to minimize damage and contamination, and then they are usually dried in
the sun to reduce moisture content. Seed is often stored separately from grain. It is commonly
hung overhead in a smoky place, such as the kitchen, to minimize insect damage and reduce
moisture content. Also, seed can be conditioned by adding local insecticides and/or fungicides
(eucalyptus leaves, sand, ash, neem) before being placed in special containers and stored above
the fireplace (Cromwell 1996).

Various organizations have been involved in strengthening local commercial seed production, by
building on the existing farmer-to-farmer seed exchange. As one would expect, an important
component of this activity is plant breeding and variety selection. Farmers' participation in variety
testing can be linked to seed provision. In Colombia, farmer groups were formed to collaborate
with research and extension in participatory technology development for identifying new










varieties (Tripp 1997). Several of these groups received considerable training and assistance for
small-scale seed production and were able to sell seed of these varieties in local shops and markets.
Similar efforts were carried out in Zambia (Tripp 1997).

The public sector (the national agricultural research system) will continue to play an important role
in producing source seed of modem varieties for small-scale seed producers, who in turn have to be
able to pay for the full cost of developing the source seed. One of the dilemmas of contract seed
multiplication is that only farmers with sufficient resources at their disposal can participate.

Another important issue is that an official agency needs to be involved with seed quality and
control, and small-scale seed producers need to pay the full cost of seed certification. One element of
quality control is seed conditioning and storage, which implies that small-scale producers need
access to specialized equipment and facilities. In some cases, small-scale seed producers have rented
state-owned processing facilities. There is a need for the construction of storage structures.

Finally, a marketing and distribution strategy needs to be developed to assist farmers in selling their
products (Rohrbach et al. 1997). One of the major weaknesses of the organizations that have set up
small-scale seed provision is that not all of them had the time and resources to develop the
necessary technical capabilities for organizing seed production and distribution. Also, they did not
always test the adaptability of the varieties to the local environment. They often worked with the
better-off farmers and created new structures instead of building on existing structures
(Tripp 1997).2




3.3 Policies and Institutions
3.3.1 Seed legislation. In 1997, Ethiopia enacted seed legislation to devise seed transaction
mechanisms, ensure that farmers had access to quality seed, protect and promote the country's seed
resources, and guard the interests of seed users/farmers, originators, and traders.

Many countries explicitly restrict the types of institutions allowed to operate in the seed sector.
Sometimes implicit restrictions exist as well; for example, NGOs have often been discouraged from
participating in the seed sector, aside from providing emergency aid, although they could play an
important role in strengthening the small-scale seed sector.

In Ethiopia, formal and informal institutions can be involved in seed multiplication, as long as they
fulfill the criteria set by NSIA. The formal institutions involved are Pioneer-Hybrid Seeds, Ethiopia
P.C. Ltd., and ESE. In the informal sector, there is a program initiated by the NSIA with financial
assistance from the World Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
This is a five-year seed system development project, which includes farmer-based seed production
and marketing schemes in seven regional states. The Swedish government supports another
program, which is aimed at promoting seed multiplication and marketing by farmers in Amhara.



2 For a discussion of experiences with alternative seed supply practices in Ghana and Tanzania, see Tripp (1997) and Mdruma (1998).










3.3.2 Variety registration. The NVRC, under the auspices of NSIA, is responsible for variety
registration and comprises members from EARO, NSIA, ESE, AUA, Genetic Resource Conservation
and Research Institute (GRCRI), MOA, Coffee and Tea Development Authority (CTDA), Awassa
College of Agriculture, and others when deemed necessary.

The team leader of NVRC and other concerned researchers consult with appropriate scientists and
extension and on-farm research personnel to prepare a proposal for promising varieties. The variety
should be tested for yield, disease resistance, and other important characteristics for a minimum of
two to three years in regional or national variety trials at three to five locations. Promising varieties
are promoted to farm verification trials. The breeder applies to the NVRC for his/her variety to be
evaluated for release during the same season. The candidate varieties are planted with established
local or improved cultivars in plots of at least 100 m2 at two to three sites. During the anticipated
year of release, the varieties are verified both on-station and on-farm by the NVRC.

The NVRC appoints a subcommittee composed of its own members and other relevant specialists to
report on varietal performance after examining performance data submitted by the breeder and
field performance evaluation. The reports cover the performance evaluation, field performance
evaluation, general comments, and recommendations. A maximum of three varieties per crop are
proposed for release. The proposal for variety release should be submitted to the committee
chairman by 30 May of each year and decisions reached by the committee are reported at the NVRC
in April the following year. A new variety should be assigned a short and a permanent designation
by the breeder/team leader after it has been approved for release. The breeder or institution
responsible for developing a variety is also expected to maintain and supply an appropriate
quantity of the breeder and pre-basic seed for replenishing and restoring commercial seed of the
variety to the desired genetic purity.

The strengths of the current varietal release procedures are the clear regulations and guidelines for
variety evaluation and release. The weaknesses, according to NSIA, are that breeders are not strictly
following the guidelines and do not use the latest released varieties as a standard check.
Furthermore, the evaluations do not take place at the appropriate stage of plant growth. Finally,
there is no independent variety testing and release institute.

3.3.3 Seed certification. Seed certification is a new activity carried out by NSIA. The main objective
of this procedure is to test the eligibility of the variety for multiplication and to check the
compliance with the established seed and field standards. As yet there is no quality control
procedure.

3.3.4 Seed price policy. The long-term viability of small-scale seed provision relies on government
intervention in price setting, with the result that official seed prices do not reflect the full cost of
production. Another aspect of government intervention is the tying of agricultural subsidies and
credit programs to the use of publicly bred improved seed, which can artificially promote its use but
restrict the viability of small-scale seed provision (Tripp 1997).

3.3.5 Plant breeders' rights. At the time this paper was written, there are no policies concerning
plant breeders' rights in the country.










4.0 Demographic and Socioeconomic Characteristics



Socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of sample farmers in western Shewa and eastern
Wellega are shown in Table 6. The mean age of farmers in Chaliya Woreda was about 48 years
compared to 40 years for Bako-Tibe, 43 years for Bila-Sayo, and 44 years for Sibu-Sire. The level of
farming experience was highest in Chaliya (27 years) and lowest in Bako-Tibe (21 years). About
99% of households were headed by men. Mean family size was about 8 persons in Sibu-Sire
compared to about 7 persons in each of the other three woredas. The number of adults above 17
years of age was, on average, about 3 persons in all woredas. The number of adults between 14 and
17 years of age was about 1, on average, for all woredas, while the number of children below 14
years of age was about 3.

The number of family members working off-farm was very low in all woredas. The annual average
off-farm income was Birr 131 in Sibu-Sire compared to Birr 81 in Bako-Tibe, Birr 53 in Chaliya, and
Birr 31 in Bila-Sayo. Off-farm income in Sibu-Sire was higher because more farmers were engaged
in income-generating activities such as carpentry, wood-carving, and trading. Most farmers used
their off-farm income to purchase fertilizer or farm implements. The percentage of farmers hiring
labor was highest in Bila-Sayo (55.9%) compared to 42.9% in Sibu-Sire, 36.8% in Bako-Tibe, and
33.3% in Chaliya.

Table 7 shows the education level of farmers in the study area. About 50% of farmers in Bila-Sayo
were illiterate compared to 46% in Chaliya, 42% in Sibu-Sire, and 36% in Bako-Tibe. More farmers
in Sibu-Sire (18%) attended a literacy campaign compared to 11% in Bako-Tibe, 9% in Bila-Sayo,
and 6% in Chilayo. More farmers in Bako-Tibe (54%) finished primary or secondary education
compared to 49% in Chaliya, 41% in Bila-Sayo, and 40% in Sibu-Sire.

The average farm size was about 15 timmad (1 timmad = 0.25 ha) in Sibu-Sire compared to 14
timmad in Bila-Sayo, and 13 timmad in both Chaliya and Bako-Tibe. In the four woredas, farmers
cultivated about 75% of their farms, and the area used for grazing was about 2 timmad (Table 8).



Table 6. Demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of sample farmers in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
Western Shewa Eastern Wellega
Characteristics Chaliya Bako-Tibe Bila-Sayo Sibu-Sire
Age of household head (yr) 47.6 39.9 42.6 43.9
Farming experience (yr) 27.2 21.2 23.5 24.5
Family size (no.) 7.4 7.3 7.1 7.9
Number of adults (>17 yr) 3.0 3.1 3.3 3.5
Number of adults (14-17 yr) 1.2 0.9 1.1 1.4
Number of children (<14 yr) 2.9 2.9 2.9 2.8
Number of off-farm workers 0.3 0.1 0.2 0.2
Annual off-farm income (Birr) 52.8 80.5 31.3 130.5
Farmers hiring labor (%) 33.3 36.8 55.9 42.9










Most farmers in the four woredas cultivated their own land (Table 9). In Bako-Tibe, about 24% of
farmers rented land, while less than 10% of farmers in each of the other woredas rented land. In
Sibu-Sire, about 42% of farmers sharecropped their land compared to 36% in Chaliya, 34% in Bako-
Tibe, and 18% in Bila-Sayo. Inputs contributed by the landowner and the sharecropper are shown in
Table 10.

The average number of oxen owned was about 3 in all woredas (Table 11). The average number of
cows owned was highest in Bila-Sayo. The average number of poultry owned was 5 in both Bila-
Sayo and Sibu-Sire and 3 in both Chaliya and Bako-Tibe. The number of goats and sheep owned
was low in all woredas.


Table 7. Education level of sample farmers in western
Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
Western Shewa Eastern Wellega
Chaliya Bako-Tibe Bila-Sayo Sibu-Sire
Education (%) (%) (%) (%)
None 45.5 35.5 50.0 41.6
Literacy campaign 6.1 10.5 8.8 18.2
Elementary 36.4 35.5 32.4 31.2
Secondary 12.1 18.4 8.8 9.1


Table 8. Land use in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
Western Shewa Eastern Wellega
Land use
area (timmad) Chaliya Bako-Tibe Bila-Sayo Sibu-Sire
Total farm size 12.6 12.7 14.1 15.4
Cultivated 9.4 9.3 10.7 11.6
Grazing 2.6 1.8 2.3 2.4
Fallow 0.1 0.5 0.7 1.2
Other 0.5 0.5 0.4 0.2



Table 9. Land tenure in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
Western Shewa Eastern Wellega
Chaliya Bako-Tibe Bila-Sayo Sibu-Sire
Tenure type (%) (%) (%) (%)
Farmer's land 93.9 88.2 91.2 84.4
Family/farmer's land 0.0 11.8 0.0 2.6
Family land 0.0 7.9 5.9 6.5
Sharecropped land 36.4 34.2 17.6 41.6
Rented land 9.1 23.7 2.9 5.2


Table 10. Details of sharecropping arrangements, western
Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996

Inputs contributed by landowner
Land 30%
Fertilizer 15%
Seed 20%
Labor 20%
Oxen 15%

Inputs contributed by sharecropper
Fertilizer 25%
Seed 25%
Labor 30%
Oxen 20%

Percentage of sharecroppers sharing harvest equally with landowner
Chaliya 75%
Bako-Tibe 88%
Bila-Sayo 83%
Sibu-Sire 88%




Table 11. Livestock ownership by sample farmers in
western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
Western Shewa Eastern Wellega
Livestock Chaliya Bako-Tibe Bila-Sayo Sibu-Sire
Poultry 3.5 2.9 5.4 4.9
Goats 0.2 0.5 0.0 0.9
Sheep 0.1 0.1 0.3 0.7
Cows 4.4 5.8 7.1 5.4
Oxen 2.6 2.6 3.2 2.8











5.0 Maize Cultivars Grown and

Farmers' Seed Sources



5.1 Cultivars Grown
Table 12 shows some agronomic traits of maize cultivars that were released in western Oromia.
Smallholders grew local maize as well as improved maize developed and popularized by BRC, such as
BH-660, BH-140, BH-540, Beletech, and Kuleni. Altogether, sample farmers from the four woredas grew
about 16 cultivars (Table 13). A shift towards newly released maize hybrids, particularly BH-660, has
been observed in all woredas.

The preferred maize cultivars are shown in Table 14. Reasons for farmers' preferences-which ranged
from a cultivar's performance in the field to its end uses for home consumption-are listed in Table 15.




5.2 Seed Sources, Prices, and Rates
In 1996/97, most farmers planted maize seed saved from their previous harvest (Table 16). About 59% of
farmers in Chaliya, Bila-Sayo, and Sibu-Sire planted their own seed compared to 49% in Bako-Tibe. The
next most common source of seed in 1996/97 was MOA for Bila-Sayo (33.9%), Sibu-Sire (25.5%), Bako-
Tibe (24.8%), and Chaliya (23.1%). Additional seed sources included other farmers, local markets, or
sharecroppers. Over 90% of the seed obtained from MOA was hybrid, while most of the maize seed
exchanged with other farmers was of local varieties. The price of maize seed purchased from MOA was
about Birr 6/kg in Chaliya and Bila-Sayo, and about Birr 5/kg in Bako-Tibe and Sibu-Sire.


Table 12. Agronomic traits of maize cultivars released in western Oromia
Variety Type Plant height (cm) Yield (t/ha)
BH-660 Hybrid 290 9.2
BH-140 Hybrid 250 8.3
BH-540 Hybrid 240 8.4
Phb-3253 Hybrid 200 7.5
Phb-3435 Hybrid 200 NR
Beletech Improved OPV 272 7.3
Kuleni Improved OPV 262 6.5
Gutto Improved OPV 170 4.0
Kenya Improved OPV 320 6.0
Israel Improved OPV 330 4.0
Jimma-Bako Improved OPV 330 7.4
Abo-Bako Improved OPV 250 6.0
Bc Improved OPV 330 6.6
Shashemene Improved OPV 330 4.0
Burrie Local 330 4.0
Araba Local 330 4.0
Jiru Local 330 4.0
Orome Local 160 2.0
Dima Local 330 4.0
Note: NR = Not released but grown by farmers (see Table 13).


Maturity (days)
165
140
145
140
140
150
150
126
165
175
165
150
165
175
175
175
175
125
175


Year of release
1993
1988
1995
1996
1996
1990
1995
1988
1978
1978
1970s
1986
1975










Table 13. Maize cultivars grown by farmers in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1992 and 1996

Western Shewa Eastern Wellega

Chaliya (%) Bako-Tibe (%) Bila-Sayo (%) Sibu-Sire (%)

Variety 1992 1996 1992 1996 1992 1996 1992 1996

BH-660 0.0 26.3 0.0 23.2 0.0 27.1 0.0 26.5
BH-140 0.0 7.9 1.4 13.1 0.0 2.1 0.0 2.0
Phb-3253 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.1 0.0 0.0
Phb-3435 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 4.2 0.0 1.0
Beletech 0.0 2.6 1.4 2.0 0.0 4.2 0.0 0.0
Kuleni 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Shashemene 56.3 36.8 45.2 26.3 9.1 10.4 11.6 10.2
Burrie 15.6 13.2 9.6 5.1 42.4 25.0 40.6 25.5
Kenya 0.0 0.0 20.5 11.1 18.2 8.3 33.3 25.5
Orome 3.1 2.6 1.4 2.0 6.1 2.1 5.8 4.1
Guto 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Israel 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 3.0 2.1 1.4 1.0
Jiru 12.5 5.3 13.7 6.1 12.1 8.3 5.8 4.1
Arabe 12.5 2.6 4.1 2.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Diimaa 0.0 0.0 1.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Other 0.0 2.6 1.4 7.1 9.1 4.2 1.4 0.0

Note: BH-660, BH-140, Phb-3253, and Phb-3435 are hybrids, and the others are OPVs (see Table 12).


Table 14. Preferred maize cultivars in western
Oromia, 1996

Western Shewa Eastern Wellega

Chaliya Bako-Tibe Bila-Sayo Sibu-Sire
Variety (%) (%) (%) (%)

BH-660 48.1 42.6 45.2 35.8
Shashemene 18.5 16.2 3.2 10.4
BH-140 7.4 11.8 6.5 1.5
Burrie 11.2 2.9 12.9 20.9
Kenya 0.0 8.8 16.1 20.9
Jiru 3.7 5.9 6.5 6.5
Beletech 3.7 4.4 3.2 0.0
Phb3435 0.0 0.0 6.5 1.5
Orome 3.7 0.0 0.0 4.5
Araba 3.7 2.9 0.0 0.0
Other 0.0 4.4 0.0 0.0


Table 15. Reasons for farmers' preference for most
popular maize cultivars, western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996

Region, variety, and
reason for preference Percent of farmers

Western Shewa: Chaliya
BH-660 48.1
High yield 36.7
Seed size 16.7
Early maturity 10.0
Lodging resistance 10.0
Taste in injera 10.0
Shashemene 18.5
Taste in injera 33.3
Seed size 25.0
High yield 16.7
Western Shewa: Bako-Tibe
BH-660 42.6
High yield 32.8
Lodging resistance 15.6
Early maturity 9.4
Shashemene 16.2
Taste in injera 29.4
High yield 17.6
Seed size 11.8

Table 15. Cont'd.










Table 15. Cont'd.


Region, variety, and
reason for preference
Eastern Wellega: Bila-Sayo
BH-660
High yield
Taste in injera
Lodging resistance
Seed size
Kenya
Disease resistance
Early maturity
Taste in injera
Sweetness in beer
Eastern Wellega: Sibu-Sire
BH-660
High yield
Lodging resistance
Early maturity
Seed color
Kenya
Taste in injera
Early maturity
Seed size
Taste in bread
Burrie
Disease resistance
Taste in injera
Seed size
Sweetness in beer


Percent of farmers


Seed source

Own
Other farmers
Local market
MOA
Sharecropper
Other


Eastern Wellega
Bila-Sayo Sibu-Sire
(%) (%)
58.9 59.1
5.4 10.0
1.8 1.8
33.9 25.5
0.0 1.8
0.0 1.8


Significantly more farmers in Bako-Tibe (69.3%)
supplied maize seed to other farmers compared
to Bila-Sayo (44.1%), Sibu-Sire (44%), and Chaliya
(36.4%) (2= 15.0;p<0.01). In Chaliya, farmers
provided seed free of charge (46.2%) or bartered
for seed with grain (46.2%). Similarly, in Sibu-Sire
farmers bartered maize seed for grain (40.7%) or
provided maize seed free of charge (38.9%). In
Bako-Tibe, farmers bartered maize seed for grain
(68.2%), while in Bila-Sayo farmers bartered
maize seed (41.2%) or sold maize seed to other
farmers (29.4%). All farmers bartered 1 kg of
maize seed for 1 kg of maize grain.

Farmers' opinions of the advantages and
disadvantages of obtaining seed from other
farmers and the Ministry of Agriculture (the
second two most important seed sources after
"own seed") are listed in Table 17.

Farmers in the four woredas used their own
resources to purchase improved maize seed.
Distance traveled to purchase maize seed differed
considerably across woredas (Table 18). About
75% and 64% of farmers in Chaliya and Bako-
Tibe, respectively, traveled less than 5 km, while
73% and 62% of farmers in Bila-Sayo and Sibu-
Sire, respectively, traveled more than 5 km.

About 58% of farmers in Chaliya had problems
obtaining improved maize seed compared to 36%
in Bako-Tibe and 38% in Bila-Sayo and Sibu-Sire.
The main problems were high seed price and
unavailability. The price of maize seed from the
MOA was Birr 610/100 kg in Chaliya compared
to Birr 580/100 kg in Bila-Sayo and Birr 530/100
kg in Bako-Tibe and Sibu-Sire, whereas seed


bought from other farmers or the local market was about Birr 50-80/100 kg. This price differs because
MOA sold improved hybrids and OPVs, whereas the local market and farmers sold local varieties.

In Bako-Tibe, about 44% of farmers reported the unavailability of seed to be an important problem
compared to 33% in Chaliya, 25% in Bila-Sayo, and 16% in Sibu-Sire. Time of availability was also an
important constraint on the use of improved seed. About 53% and 52% of farmers in Bako-Tibe and
Bila-Sayo, respectively, did not get their seed at the right time compared to 27% for Chaliya and 12%
for Sibu-Sire.


Table 16. Farmers' sources of maize seed in western
Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996/97


Western Shewa
Chaliya Bako-Tibe
(%) (%)
59.0 48.6
10.2 20.1
2.6 3.7
23.1 24.8
2.6 0.9
2.6 1.8











Table 17. Advantages and disadvantages of acquiring seed
from other farmers and the Ministry of Agriculture, western
Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996

Region and seed acquisition strategy Percent of farmers


Western Shewa: Chaliya
Advantages of acquiring seed from other farmers
Fair price
Right quantity available
Quality
Timely availability
Disadvantages of acquiring seed from other farmers
Poor quality
No credit to purchase
Advantages of acquiring seed from MOA
Quality
Right quantity available
Disadvantages of acquiring seed from MOA
High price
Western Shewa: Bako-Tibe
Advantages of acquiring seed from other farmers
Right quantity available
Timely availability
Accessible seed source
Quality
Disadvantages of acquiring seed from other farmers
Poor quality
No credit to purchase
Advantages of acquiring seed from MOA
Right quantity available
Quality
Disadvantages of acquiring seed from MOA
High price
Right quantity not available
Eastern Wellega: Bila-Sayo
Advantages of acquiring seed from other farmers
Timely availability
Right quantity available
Credit to purchase
Disadvantages of acquiring seed from other farmers
Poor quality
No credit to purchase
Advantages of acquiring seed from MOA
Quality
Credit to purchase
Right quantity available
Disadvantages of acquiring seed from MOA
High price
Untimely seed delivery
Eastern Wellega: Sibu-Sire
Advantages of acquiring seed from other farmers
Credit to purchase
Good price
Timely availability
Disadvantages of acquiring seed from other farmers
Poor quality
No credit to purchase
Advantages of acquiring seed from MOA
Quality
Credit to purchase
Right quantity available
Disadvantages of acquiring seed from MOA
High price


Table 18. Distance traveled by farmers to purchase seed in
western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996

Western Shewa Eastern Wellega

Chaliya Bako-Tibe Bila-Sayo Sibu-Sire
Distance (%) (%) (%) (%)

Same village 37.5 29.8 4.5 17.2
<5 km 37.5 34.0 22.7 20.7
5-10 km 12.5 23.4 31.8 20.7
>10 km 12.5 12.8 40.9 41.4




Table 19. Farmers' sources of improved maize seed
information in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996

Western Shewa Eastern Wellega
Chaliya Bako-Tibe Bila-Sayo Sibu-Sire
Distance (%) (%) (%) (%)
Extension 68.4 56.7 78.3 87.5
Radio 5.3 5.0 0.0 3.1
Other farmers 26.3 31.7 8.7 6.3
Other 0.0 6.7 13.0 3.1


27.3 Most farmers reported that they were able to

40.7 buy the required quantity of seed.
14.8
The seed rate for improved maize in 1996 was

30.8 about 6 kg/timmad in Chaliya, about
30.8 5.5 kg/timmad in Bako-Tibe and Bila-Sayo, and
26.9
5 kg/timmad in Sibu-Sire. In 1996, the seed rate for

45.0 local varieties was about 6.5 kg/timmad for
20.0
farmers in Chaliya and Sibu-Sire, 6.3 kg/timmad in

43.8 Bila-Sayo, and about 5.3 kg/timmad in Bako-Tibe.
25.0
21.9

51.6
16.1 5.3 Farmers' Sources of Information

on Improved Maize Seed
26.2
21.4 In Bila-Sayo (78.3%) and Sibu-Sire (87.5%),
21.4 extension was the most important source of

50.0 information on improved maize seed (Table 19).
20.0 Extension and other farmers were the most

38.1 important sources of information for 68.4% and
25.4 26.3% of farmers in Chaliya, respectively, and
25.4 56.7% and 31.7% of farmers in Bako-Tibe,

75.0 respectively.











6.0 Maize Production Practices


6.1 Increased Use of Improved
Maize Seed
As mentioned previously, the maize cultivars
that farmers grew changed dramatically
between 1992 and 1996 (Table 20). In 1992, of all
farmers sampled, only 4% in Bako-Tibe grew
improved maize cultivars. In 1996, about 56% of
farmers in Bila-Sayo grew improved maize
hybrids or OPVs, compared to 49% in Bako-
Tibe, 46% in Chaliya, and 38% in Sibu-Sire.
Higher yield was the main reason that farmers


Table 20. Use of local/improved maize cultivars in western
Oromia, Ethiopia, 1992 and 1996
Western Shewa Eastern Wellega
Chaliya Bako-Tibe Bila-Sayo Sibu-Sire
Cultivar (%) (%) (%) (%)
1992
Improved hybrids/OPVs 0.0 4.1 0.0 0.0
Local maize 100.0 95.9 100.0 100.0
1996
Improved hybrids/OPVs 45.5 49.4 55.9 37.7
Local maize 54.5 50.6 44.1 62.3


adopted improved cultivars. A second important reason for adopting improved cultivars was that
they matured earlier than the cultivars previously grown, according to 20% of farmers in Sibu-Sire,
6% in Chaliya, 14% in Bako-Tibe, and 15% in Bila-Sayo.

Between 1992 and 1996, the total area under improved maize increased in the four woredas, while
the total area under local maize decreased (Figures 5 and 6). The growth in improved maize area is
also reflected in production. In 1995, the total production of improved cultivars surpassed the total
production of local varieties in the study area (Figures 7 and 8). In 1996, the average production of
improved cultivars was about four times that of local varieties in Chaliya, Bila-Sayo, and Sibu-Sire,
and about three times that of local varieties in Bako-Tibe (Table 21). Improved maize area and
production are highest in Bako-Tibe, which may be due to the popularizing of hybrids and
improved OPVs by BRC and extension services.


1994 1995 1996


4UU



300 ------------ -------------------
150 .. e___
0Bako-Tibe
250 -------------------------------------- ---

200 --------------------------------------------



100-----------------------

50 --------------------------------------------
50

1992 1993 1994 1995 1996
Figure 6. Total area (timmad) under local maize production
by woreda in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1992-96.


Bako-Tibe

Sibu-Sire


Bila-Sayo

I haiiya


1992 1993


Figure 5. Total area (timmad) under improved maize production
by woreda in western Oromia, Ethiopia,1992-96.













1200

1000

S800

600


1992 1993


1994 1995 1996


Figure 7. Total production quintalss) of improved maize
varieties by woreda in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1992-96.




Table 21. Average production of local and improved maize
in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996

Western Shewa Eastern Wellega

Chaliya Bako-Tibe Bila-Sayo Sibu-Sire
Improved maize (qt) 35.7 33.2 40.1 38.2
Local maize (qt) 8.5 13.4 10.5 10.3



Table 22. Fertilizer use for maize production in western
Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
Western Shewa Eastern Wellega
Chaliya Bako-Tibe Bila-Sayo Sibu-Sire
(%) (%) (%) (%)
Use of fertilizer for
Maize production 78.1 97.4 88.2 78.9
Improved maize 51.9 54.3 53.3 61.2
Local maize 71.9 82.4 60.7 80.3
Improved and local maize 45.8 45.7 46.4 29.6
Reason for not using fertilizer
Lack of awareness 0.0 50.0 0.0 12.8
High price 66.7 50.0 40.0 62.5
Unavailability 11.1 0.0 40.0 0.0
Late delivery 22.2 0.0 0.0 6.3
Other 0.0 0.0 0.0 18.8


I -u


800

700

600

500

400

300

200

100

0


Figure 8. Total production quintalss) of local maize varieties
by woreda in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1992-96.




6.2 Fertilizer and Pesticides
The use of fertilizer for maize production by
farmers in western Oromia is shown in Table 22.
Most farmers in all four woredas used fertilizer.
More farmers applied fertilizer to local maize
than to improved maize. The recommended
fertilizer rate is 100 kg/ha of DAP and 200
kg/ha of urea. Farmers in Bila-Sayo applied
about 94 kg/ha of DAP compared to 87 kg/ha
in Sibu-Sire, 85 kg/ha in Bako-Tibe, and 83 kg/ha
in Chaliya. In Sibu-Sire, farmers applied 176 kg/ha
of urea compared to 172 kg/ha in Bako-Tibe, 160
kg/ha in Bila-Sayo, and only 97 kg/ha in
Chaliya. The main constraint on fertilizer use
was its high price. About 18% of farmers in
Chaliya used pesticides compared to 13% in
Bako-Tibe, 12% in Bila-Sayo, and 10% in Sibu-Sire.


Bako-Tibe


------------------------------------- -----
Sibu-Sire
--------------------------------- -- --------

Bila-Sayo



0 Chaliya
- - - - - - -


III---


Bako-Tibe

---
Sibu-Sire




Bila-Sayo
--- ------

--------------------------9 ----------
Chaliya m


1992 1993 1994 1995 1996










6.3 Farmers' Access to Information
for Maize Production
Farmers' access to information related to maize
production is shown in Table 23. About 38% of
farmers in Bila-Sayo attended a farmer field day
or demonstration trial compared to 33% in
Chaliya, 31% in Sibu-Sire, and 28% in Bako-Tibe.
In Bila-Sayo, 12% of farmers attended a farmers'
training course compared to less than 10% of the
farmers in the other woredas.


Table 23. Farmers' access to information on maize
production in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996

Western Shewa Eastern Wellega

Source of Chaliya Bako-Tibe Bila-SayoSibu-Sire
information (%) (%) (%) (%)

Attended field day 33.3 27.6 38.2 31.2
Attended training course 9.1 8.0 11.8 5.3
Received extension visit 30.3 30.7 52.9 40.3
Owned a radio 15.2 18.4 17.6 23.4


Twenty-three percent of farmers in Sibu-Sire owned a radio compared to 18% in both Bako-Tibe and
Bila-Sayo and 15% in Chaliya. Most farmers who owned a radio in Chaliya (75%) listened to
agricultural education programs compared to 41% in Sibu-Sire, 38% in Bako-Tibe, and 30% in Bila-Sayo.

An extension agent visited 53% of farmers in Bila-Sayo, 31% in Bako-Tibe, 30% in Chaliya, and 40% in
Sibu-Sire. The farmers were visited during plowing, planting, weeding, and harvesting. The average
number of extension visits during the cropping season was 2.4 for Bila-Sayo, 1.6 for Sibu-Sire, 1.2 for
Chaliya, and 0.9 for Bako-Tibe.





7.0 Farmers' Management of Cultivars and Seed



7.1 Varietal Replacement
A farmer's decision to change an adopted cultivar is termed "varietal replacement," whereas the
decision to obtain fresh stock of a variety that they already grow is termed "seed renewal." There are
various methods to measure the rate at which farmers replace cultivars. In this study, we have used the
weighted average age (WA) because it is simple and unambiguous (Brennan and Byerlee 1991). This
measure is based on the average age of varieties grown by farmers in a given year (measured in years
since release), weighted by the area planted to each variety in that year. This measure, WA, is computed
for a given year, t, as follows:

where:

Pit = the proportion of area sown to variety i in year t, and
Ri = the number of years (at time t) since the release of variety i.

In western Oromia in 1996, the weighted average age of maize cultivars was about 16 years. To put this
figure somewhat into perspective, it is helpful to know that in Kenya, the weighted average age of
maize cultivars was 10 years and that large-scale farmers had a smaller WA (9 years) than small-scale
farmers (11 years) (Hassan et al. 1998).3


3 Similarly Bishaw et al. (1994) found that 21% of wheat farmers saved seed for 6-10 years and 14% saved seed for 11-15 years. In Pakistan, the useful life of a
wheat variety (before its disease resistance breaks down) averaged five to six years (Heisey 1990).










The comparatively slow turnover of cultivars in western Oromia reflects a poorly developed seed
industry and ineffective extension services and explains why farmer-to-farmer seed exchange is
common in the study area and Ethiopia in general. In Kenya, the small weighted age of cultivars
reflected a relatively superior seed supply system, transportation network, and extension service.
Large-scale farmers had relatively better access to information, extension services, and credit, and a
greater capacity to bear risk compared to small-scale farmers. Brennan and Byerlee (1991) have
contended that the optimal seed retention period depends on the yield gain of the variety, yield
losses from old varieties, and the risk involved in changing from one variety to another.


The replacement of improved maize seed by
farmers in the study area is shown in Table 24.
More farmers in Bila-Sayo (67.9%) and Sibu-Sire
(66%) purchased improved maize seed every
year compared to farmers in Chaliya (48%) and
Bako-Tibe (37.1%). All farmers in Bako-Tibe and
Sibu-Sire and about 83% in Bako-Tibe and Bila-
Sayo replaced hybrids every year. The average
number of years since farmers purchased a
hybrid was 1.4 in Chaliya, 2.3 in Bako-Tibe, 2.1
in Bila-Sayo, and 2 in Sibu-Sire. From farmers'
responses, it was estimated that on average a
hybrid needs to be replaced after about 1.7 years
in Chaliya, 1.2 years in Bako-Tibe, and 1 year in
Bila-Sayo and Sibu-Sire.


Table 24. Replacement of improved maize seed by farmers
in western Oromia, 1996

Western Shewa Eastern Wellega
Source of Chaliya Bako-Tibe Bila-Sayo Sibu-Sire
information (%) (%) (%) (%)

Improved maize seed
purchased every year (%) 48.0 37.1 67.9 66.0
Type of cultivar replaced
Hybrid 83.3 100.0 83.3 100.0
OPV 16.7 0.0 16.7 0.0
Hybrids purchased
(yrs ago) 1.4 2.3 2.1 2.0
Frequency of hybrid
replacement (yr) 1.7 1.2 1.0 1.0


7.2 Farmers' Maize Seed Management
About 97% of farmers in Chaliya selected seed from their harvest compared to 94% in both Bila-Sayo
and Sibu-Sire and 91% in Bako-Tibe. Eighty percent of farmers in Chaliya reported that selecting
good grain or cobs at harvest was the most important seed selection criterion compared to 83% in
Bako-Tibe, 55% in Bila-Sayo, and 71% in Sibu-Sire (Table 25). A study by Almekinders et al. (1994)
also reported that the selection of large seeds from healthy plants was an important selection
criterion for farmers. Less than 6% of farmers in the four woredas had separate fields for seed
production. Most farmers stored their seed separately, hanging the cobs high above the fire. About
42% of farmers in Sibu-Sire treated stored maize seed with chemicals compared to about 50% of
farmers in the other woredas.

Ninety-four percent of farmers in both Bila-Sayo and Sibu-Sire shelled their seed before planting
compared to 88% and 84% in Chaliya and Bako-Tibe, respectively. About 38% of farmers in Bila-Sayo
conditioned their seed before planting compared to 33% in Sibu-Sire, 22% in Bako-Tibe, and 15% in
Chaliya. In Bila-Sayo and Sibu-Sire, about 60% of farmers used chemicals to condition their seed
compared to 53% in Bako-Tibe and 40% in Chaliya.










Table 25. Maize seed management by farmers in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
Western Shewa
Chaliya (%) Bako-Tibe (%)
Select seed 97.0 90.7
Selection criterion
Good plants in field 2.5 0.0
Good ears at harvest 52.5 38.4
Good ears from gotera
(i.e., local storage structure) 2.5 3.5
Good grain at harvest 27.5 44.2
Good grain from gotera 0.0 4.7
Weevil-free seed from gotera 15.0 9.3
Store seed separately 97.0 86.8
Method of storage
Above fire in cobs 87.5 94.8
In tree with husk 9.4 5.2
Underground 3.1 0.0
Seed treatment 41.6 50.0
Shell seed separately 88.0 84.0
Condition seed before planting 15.0 22.0


Eastern Wellega
Bila-Sayo (%) Sibu-Sire (%)
94.1 93.5


7.3 Quality of Seed and Strategies for Improving Quality
About 83% of farmers in Bako-Tibe reported they had good quality seed compared to 78% in Bila-
Sayo, 68% in Sibu-Sire, and 61% in Chaliya. The characteristics of good seed are shown in Table 26.
Good grain filling was the most important criterion for farmers in Chaliya (27.8%), Bako-Tibe
(33.3%), Bila-Sayo (36.4%), and Sibu-Sire (38.0%). A second important criterion was germination rate
for 25% of farmers in Sibu-Sire, 22% in both Chaliya and Bila-Sayo, and 21% in Bako-Tibe.

When seed quality was poor, farmers used a number of strategies to find superior seed. Thirty-three
percent of farmers in Bila-Sayo made sure to obtain seed from a reliable source compared to 21% in
Chaliya, 20% in Sibu-Sire, and 15% in Bako-Tibe. The remaining farmers shifted to another cultivar.
About 63% of farmers in Bila-Sayo reported that selecting seed at harvest was an important method
for improving seed quality compared to 45% in Bako-Tibe, 40% in Sibu-Sire, and 38% in Chaliya.
Post-harvest treatment of seed with chemicals was another important method for farmers to ensure
good seed for planting.


Table 26. Characteristics of good seed, according to farmers in western Oromia, Ethiopia, 1996
Western Shewa Eastern Wellega


Characteristics
Good grain filling
No impurities
Adapted to local conditions
Disease free
High germination rate
Other


Chaliya
(%)
27.8
11.1
19.4
11.1
22.2
8.3


Bako-Tibe
(%)
33.3
12.7
13.5
11.1
20.6
8.7


Bila-Sayo
(%)
36.4
10.9
14.5
14.5
21.8
1.8


Sibu-Sire
(%)
38.0
8.3
12.0
14.8
25.0
1.9











8.0 Tobit Analysis of Land Allocation to Improved Maize



Feder et al. (1985) defined adoption as the degree of use of a new technology in a long-run
equilibrium when a farmer has all of the information about the new technology and its potential.
Adoption at the farm level reflects the farmer's decision to incorporate a new technology into the
production process. On the other hand, aggregate adoption is the process of spread or diffusion of a
new technology within a region. Therefore, a distinction exists between adoption at the individual
farm level and aggregate adoption within a targeted region. If an innovation is modified
periodically, the adoption level may not reach equilibrium. This situation requires the use of
econometric procedures that can capture both the rate and the process of adoption. The rate of
adoption is defined as the proportion of farmers who have adopted a new technology over time.
The incidence of adoption is the percentage of farmers using a technology at a specific point in time
(e.g., the percentage of farmers using fertilizer). The intensity of adoption is defined as the aggregate
level of adoption of a given technology (e.g., the number of hectares planted with improved seed).

The tobit model results on the mean proportion of land allocated to hybrid maize are presented in
Table 27. The tobit model was used because the proportion of land allocated to improved maize is a
continuous variable but truncated between zero and one. The use of ordinary least squares will
result in biased estimates (McDonald and Moffitt 1980). In the table, 6EY/6X. shows the marginal
effect of an explanatory variable on the expected value (mean proportion) of the dependent variable,


Table 27. Tobit model estimates for land allocation to improved maize hybrids
Parameter Coefficient Wald statistic 6EY/6X/ sr/SXi XF(z)1/SX
Constant -1.4502 4.69*** -0.697225 -0.610479 -1.052637
Farmer's experience -0.0012364 0.16 -0.000594 -0.000520 -0.000897
Education (dummy) 0.43737 2.12** 0.210278 0.184116 0.317468
Extension (no.) 0.1611 4.03*** 0.077453 0.067817 0.116935
Field day (dummy) 0.38603 1.97** 0.185595 0.162504 0.280202
Farm size (timmad) -0.017662 1.40 -0.008492 -0.007435 -0.01282
Family size (no.) 0.015859 0.66 0.007625 0.006676 0.011511
Hired labor (dummy) -0.20916 1.03 -0.100559 -0.088048 -0.15182
Livestock (no.) 0.017007 1.18 0.008177 0.007159 0.012345
Off-farm income (Birr) 0.00065 2.36** 0.000313 0.000274 0.000472
High yield 1.2053 6.16*** 0.579482 0.507385 0.874874
Resistance to lodging 0.31996 1.63* 0.153830 0.134691 0.232245
Impurity 0.34796 1.63* 0.167292 0.146478 0.252569
Seed conditioning 0.068675 0.35 0.033017 0.028909 0.049848
Sigma 0.53647
Number of samples 219
Number of positive observations 90
Proportion of positive observations (%) 41.1
z-score -0.22
f(z) 0.3894
Log of likelihood function -121.33
Wald chi-square (8=0) 123.1***
Note: = significant at p<0.1; ** = significant at p<0.05; *** = significant at p>0.01.










6EY*/SX, shows changes in the intensity of adoption with respect to a unit change of an
independent variable among adopters, and 6F(z)/6X.is the probability of change among
nonadopters (the probability of adopting improved maize) with a unit change in the independent
variable Xi (Roncek 1992). The Wald chi-square statistic was significant at p<0.01.

Farmers' education level, the number of extension visits, field days, the amount of off-farm
income, and some technology characteristics (high yield, resistance to lodging, and seed purity)
significantly influenced the mean proportion of land allocated to improved maize. The marginal
effect of education on the area under improved maize was 0.21, and education increased the
probability of adoption among nonadopters by 31.7%. Literate farmers are more disposed to
understand new ideas and concepts provided by extension workers and other informants. This
underlines the importance of human capital development in increasing the area under improved
maize.

The marginal effect of extension on improved maize area was 0.07, and extension increased the
probability of adoption among nonadopters by 11.7%. Extension workers are an important
support service for delivering information on improved maize technologies to farmers, and they
also provide necessary inputs.

The marginal effect of attending a field day on improved maize area was 0.19, and increased the
probability of adoption among nonadopters by 28%.

The marginal effect of off-farm income on improved maize area was 0.0003, and the probability of
adoption among nonadopters increased by 0.04%. Off-farm income enables farmers to make the
required down payment to access credit in kind (seed and fertilizer) at the agricultural
development offices.

Three technology characteristics significantly influenced the area allocated to improved maize:
high yield, resistance to lodging, and seed purity. The marginal effect of farmers' preference for
higher yields on improved maize area was 0.58, and the probability of adoption among
nonadopters increased by 87.5%. Farmers clearly recognized the yield benefits of hybrids versus
local varieties. The marginal effect of farmers' preference for lodging-resistant varieties on
improved maize area was 0.15, and the probability of adoption among nonadopters increased by
23.2%. The marginal effect of farmers' preference for pure seed on improved maize area was 0.17,
and the probability of adoption among nonadopters increased by 5%.

The tobit model results of the area allocated to improved OPVs are presented in Table 28. The
Wald chi-square statistic was significant at p<0.01. The number of extension visits significantly
influenced the probability of adoption of improved OPVs. The marginal effect of extension on the
area allocated to OPVs was -0.08, and extension decreased the probability of adoption among
nonadopters by 6.9%. Extension workers in the woredas encourage farmers to grow improved
hybrids instead of OPVs.










Table 28. Tobit model estimates for land allocation to improved OPVs
Parameter Coefficient Wald statistic 6EY/6X, srE*/s1 6F(z)/6X
Constant 0.40443 1.51 0.202626 0.139572 0.166453
Farmer's experience -0.007632 1.16 -0.003824 -0.002634 -0.003141
Education (dummy) -0.068113 0.39 -0.034126 -0.023506 -0.028034
Extension (no.) -0.16655 3.21*** -0.083444 -0.057478 -0.068548
Field day (dummy) -0.36538 1.88 -0.183062 -0.126095 -0.150382
Farm size (timmad) 0.0099028 0.90 0.004961 0.003418 0.0040757
Family size (no.) 0.026089 1.06 0.013071 0.009004 0.010738
Hired labor (dummy) 0.093014 0.52 0.046601 0.032099 0.038282
Livestock (no.) -0.021576 1.46 -0.010809 -0.007446 -0.00888
Off-farm income (Birr) 0.0000494 0.17 2.4752E-05 1.7048E-05 2.0332E-05
High yield 0.11484 0.63 0.057537 0.03963 0.047266
Resistance to lodging -0.33869 1.59 -0.169689 -0.116884 -0.139396
Impurity -0.25998 1.11 -0.130254 -0.089721 -0.107001
Seed conditioning 0.19806 1.03 0.099231 0.068352 0.081517


Sigma
Number of samples
Number of positive observations
Proportion of positive observations (%)
z-score
f(z)
Log of likelihood function
Wald chi-square (P3=0)
Note: = significant at p>0.1; ** = significant at p<0.05; *** = significant at p>0.01.


0.79239
219
101
46.1
-0.1
0.397
-195.44
31.74***


9.0 Conclusions and Implications



The farming communities surveyed in four districts of western Shewa and eastear Wellega zones of
Oromia are among the most important maize growers in the country. Farmers in the study area have
increasingly planted hybrids and improved OPVs rather than local varieties since the economic reform
of 1991, which gave more emphasis to agricultural development and the role of small-scale farmers. To
achieve this, the government has strengthened the extension service to better serve small-scale farmers,
and this has led to the increased use of improved maize, especially hybrids.

The NSIA estimated the quantity of improved maize seed used in 1996 was 35,120 t, while ESE
distributed about 1,670 t of improved maize seed. This implies that about 5% of the improved seed was
purchased, while the remaining 95% was recycled.

This study has shown that most farmers rely on extension for information on improved maize
technologies. Farmer-to-farmer seed exchange remains the most important mechanism for the diffusion
of improved maize seed and should therefore be strengthened by the government through the
provision of low-interest finance, technical assistance, and publicly bred parent materials. Another
important factor in the adoption of improved maize seed was seed purity. Maize breeding programs
should give equal attention to yield and non-yield characteristics when selecting their best varieties,
and the extension system should advise farmers on the characteristics and correct adoption zones of
newly released maize cultivars.












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