This article explores the political and economic processes governing Ethiopian cereal seed systems.
The nature of the Ethiopian agricultural sector, the historical evolution of the seed system and the seed specificities for each cereal crop have resulted in a wide range of actors with diverse linkages and policy processes. A series of economic and political drivers are identified, including top‐down state‐driven initiatives; agricultural liberalisation and the private sector and political‐administrative decentralisation, all of which pull in different directions. It is important that the technocrats, politicians, international donors and supporters understand these political and economic drivers of change and by addressing these conflicts and contradictions, they may improve the chances of designing and implementing more technically effective and socially appropriate policies. This will help establish a vibrant seed system which offers real choices for farmers in terms of seed type, quantity, and quality and delivery time at reasonable prices.
This article comes from the IDS Bulletin 42.4 (2011) The Political Economy of Ethiopian Cereal Seed Systems: State Control, Market Liberalisation and Decentralisation