Unpacking the seed policy process in Ethiopia: Identifying opportunities for collaborative governance in seed sector development (Mohammed Hassena Beko)

The Ethiopian seed policy is meant to ensure that farmers get the right seed, at the right place and at the right time, such all to alleviate food insecurity at different levels in the country. However, so far the seed policy has not been very successful. This has provided reasons for the government to review its approach. Traditionally, Ethiopia has used a top-down and state-centred approach, not giving much room for bottom-up thinking and active involvement of actors other than the government structure in policy process. For an effective seed policy, the government adopted an Integrated Seed Sector Development approach. The government has then developed new laws, policies and approaches including the Seed Proclamation and Seed Roadmap; and Plant Variety Protection law is in process.

The objective of this research is twofold: to unravel the policy process and to assess the potential of collaborative seed sector governance. Considering policy as a process, this research will investigate the process of seed policy implementation; how different actors have influenced the making of the new laws; and assess the potential of collaborative governance system to manage changes in seed sector. These are meant to create a better seed sector that can contribute to food security in Ethiopia. To investigate the policy implementation and making of new laws and policies, theories on multiple governance and policy process networks will be used. To assess the potential of collaborative governance, transition management and collaborative governance theories will be used.