Farmers, seeds and varieties : supporting informal seed supply in Ethiopia

Thijssen, M.H.; Bishaw, Z.; Beshir, A.; Boef, W.S. de


Ethiopia is characterized by an enormous diversity in agro-ecosystems, crops and varieties, with the informal seed systems dominant in seed supply for almost all crops. The book addresses strategies and approaches through which professionals can support informal seed supply, and links these with the conservation and use of the huge genetic resource base of crops and local varieties. The book looks at informal seed supply from a number of different angles, introduces key concepts and strategies, and presents case studies from Ethiopia and other countries. It deals with the technical aspects of, quality and availability of, and access to seed, and of supporting informal supply. It also deals with the role of farmers in the conservation and management of local crops and varieties, and the participation of farmers and communities in plant breeding and research. It takes a particular interest in the role of farmer organizations in seed supply, and how this role can be strengthened by developing community and small-scale seed enterprises. The aim of all the strategies, case studies and reflections on experiences presented in this book is to improve the availability of and access to quality seeds and varieties, thereby improving the livelihoods of small-scale farmers in Ethiopia and beyond.