Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 507705
Title Tracing the seed : seed diffusion of improved potato varieties through farmers’ networks in Chencha, Ethiopia
Author(s) Tadesse, Yenenesh; Almekinders, Conny J.M.; Schulte, Rogier P.O.; Struik, Paul C.
Source Experimental Agriculture 53 (2017)4. - ISSN 0014-4797 - p. 481 - 496.
Department(s) Knowledge Technology and Innovation
Crop Physiology
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2017

There are many prerequisites for potato production to meet its full potential as a food security crop for subsistence farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. One of these is the introduction of improved varieties. Traditionally, the introduction of new varieties is by government agencies or Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). To understand the diffusion of seed tubers (seeds) of new potato varieties in farmer networks, we analysed social factors influencing the sharing of seed of improved potato varieties amongst farmers in Chencha, Ethiopia. We interviewed 166 farmers and analysed 146 seed transactions. We used seed flow mapping to visualize seed sharing amongst farmers. We found that the social networks of farmers are differentiated by wealth, gender and religion, and that this differentiation affects the dispersion of new varieties through the farming communities: Wealthier farmers shared seed tubers most frequently and poor farmers did not share seed at all. Seed sharing was influenced by, but not restricted to, gender and religion categories. Most sharing was with relatives (as gifts) and neighbours (in exchange for labour). There weas no equal access to seed for all households because of (i) the targeting of the better off farmers by the NGO (ii) differences in frequency of sharing and (iii) terms and motivation of the transactions. Our results show that wealthy farmers most effectively multiply and share the seed of new varieties with medium wealthy and poor farmers. This study shows that for the introduction of new technologies into a community, its dynamics of social differentiation need to be understood.

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