Small-Scale Maize Seed Production in West and Central Africa: Profitability, Constraints and Options
American Journal of Agriculture and Forestry
Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2015, Pages: 1-10
Received: Oct. 9, 2014; Accepted: Oct. 27, 2014; Published: Feb. 16, 2015
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Authors
Awotide Diran Olawale, Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Yewa Campus, Ayetoro, Ogun State, Nigeria
Mafouasson Hortense Noelle Tontsa, Institut De Recherche Agricole Pour Le Developpement (IRAD), Yaoundé, Cameroon
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Abstract
Seed plays a critical role in increasing agricultural productivity. Seed has been described as an essential, strategic, and relatively inexpensive input that often determines the upper limit of crop yields and the productivity of all other agricultural inputs. Given the critical role that seed plays in agricultural production, a key question is how to facilitate the development of a seed system that is capable of generating, producing and distributing new seed varieties that meet the needs of all farmers, in a cost-effective way given the critical role that improved varieties play in increasing agricultural production. The study was conducted in Nigeria and Cameroon in West and Central Africa respectively. A multi-stage sampling technique was used in this study to select 167 maize seed producers. Descriptive and quantitative techniques were employed in the analysis of the study data. Descriptive analytical tools such as frequency tables were used to describe the socio economic characteristics of respondents and options in maize seed production. Normalised profit function analysis was used to determine the profitability of seed production and importance indices were used to rank seed production constraints. Finally regression analysis was used to determine the factors affecting the profitability of maize seed production. The survey conducted in the two countries revealed that there is no formal maize seed production system in Cameroon. Maize seed in Cameroon came from either the government agencies or from the farmers. However, in Nigeria, there is formal maize seed production system. Evidence from the study has shown that maize seed industry in WCA (Nigeria and Cameroon in particular) has not developed remarkably. According to study, a seed system that would integrate large scale and small scale seed companies with the individual seed producers by way of integrating seed producers as out growers or contract growers to the seed companies seems to be the best option. Finally, government agencies could assist the informal sector by providing foundation seed, extension advice on seed production, processing, treatment and storage and legal framework that permits seed marketing. This would facilitate the growth of small-scale entrepreneurs in the informal sector. This is very relevant in Cameroon where there were no small-scale formal seed producers. The evidence provided in this study could lead to the sustainability of maize seed production in WCA where seed companies exist but struggling to survive and could facilitate the establishment of private seed enterprises in Cameroon where none existed. Based on the findings, numerous policy recommendations are proposed.
Keywords
Maize Seed Producers, Profitability, Constraints Analysis, Options for Integration, West and Central Africa
To cite this article
Awotide Diran Olawale, Mafouasson Hortense Noelle Tontsa, Small-Scale Maize Seed Production in West and Central Africa: Profitability, Constraints and Options, American Journal of Agriculture and Forestry. Vol. 3, No. 1, 2015, pp. 1-10. doi: 10.11648/j.ajaf.20150301.11
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