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Journal Article

IDS Bulletin Vol. 42 Nos. 4

Crowdsourcing Crop Improvement in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Proposal for a Scalable and Inclusive Approach to Food Security

Published on 28 June 2011

In sub‐Saharan Africa, modern varieties released by the formal seed sector cover only a small part of the total crop acreage.

Participatory approaches to crop improvement and seed production have been developed to overcome some of the barriers to modern variety development and seed distribution, but have not been widely scaled up. Crowdsourcing, such as seen in online citizen science projects, might inspire new approaches to upscale farmer‐participatory seed innovation, specifically aiming at household food production. Using mobile technology, African farmers may be engaged in massively evaluating and distributing seeds. It is argued that a crowdsourcing approach to seed innovation would not only be scalable, but also inclusive through the strengthening of crop diversity as an open informational resource.

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This article comes from the IDS Bulletin 42.4 (2011) Crowdsourcing Crop Improvement in Sub‐Saharan Africa: A Proposal for a Scalable and Inclusive Approach to Food Security

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van Etten, J. (2011) Crowdsourcing Crop Improvement in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Proposal for a Scalable and Inclusive Approach to Food Security. IDS Bulletin 42(4): 102-110

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Authors

Jacob van Etten

Publication details

published by
Institute of Development Studies
authors
van Etten, Jacob
doi
10.1111/j.1759-5436.2011.00240.x

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