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Role of Actors in Local Seed Multiplication Activities Facilitated by

Lume Adama Farmers Cooperative Union, East Shoa Zone, Oromia Reginal State
By: Deriba Mekonnen Advisor: Dr. J. Subramani
June, 2011 Ambo, Ethiopia

To enhance the productivity of agriculture, farmers have to have access to improved seeds of the right type, at the right time, at the right place, at a reasonable price and with rightsize seed packages. For the supply of such seeds, the informal seed sector and the formal seed system have per amount role to play in developing countries like Ethiopia. (Alemu, 2010)


Statement of the problem

Agriculture remains an important economic sector in many developing countries. It is a source of growth and a potential source of investment opportunities for the private sector. (World Bank 2005) As the main producer of certified seed, Ethiopian Seed Enterprise (ESE) currently provides less than 5% of national seed requirement. The bulk of seed used nationwide is farm saved from harvests of previous crops, a practice that has existed for centuries. (ESE, 2005)


cont -- Seed of improved varieties is a costly input and very scarce in the case of cereal seeds in Africa. There remains a large gap between the cereal seed demand and seed supply resulting in low area coverage by the improved varieties in these crops. The problem is further emphasized by the low seed multiplication ratio in cereal crops. Therefore, unless enterprising and progressive farmers, agro dealers, cooperatives and NGOs come forward to take up formal/informal seed production, this situation is likely to remain unchanged. (Mugai, 2010)

Objectives General Objective

The general objective of the study is to analyze the role of actors involved in local seed multiplication activities facilitated by Lume Adama Farmers Cooperative Union (LAFCU).

Specific Objectives

3. 4.

To examine the supportive activities extended by LAFCU to its member affiliates for local seed multiplication. To analyze factors affecting farmers participation in local seed multiplication facilitated by LAFCU. To assess the state of pre and post local seed multiplication activities performed by cooperatives and farmers. To study the challenges and prospects of local seed multiplication activity in the study area.


Research Questions
1. What are the supportive activities extended by LAFCU to its member affiliates for local seed multiplication? 2. What factors affecting farmers participation in local seed multiplication facilitated by LAFCU? 3. What are the state of pre and post local seed multiplication activities performed by cooperatives and farmers? 4. What are the challenges and prospects of local seed multiplication activity in the study area?


Significance of the Study

Since no such work has been undertaken in this area, the study result might initiate other researchers to conduct different research works from different perspectives, which may contribute for the enhancement of agricultural production and marketing. It also helps institutions interested in the establishment, development and well performing agricultural cooperatives in Ethiopia. It would also be a useful reference for researchers and other personnel interested in the area of study.


Scope and limitation of the study

This research work was carried out on LAFCU and its affiliated primary cooperatives as well their individual members that are found in one Woreda of the three Woredas of the Unions working area. The study covered five years data on seed multiplication activities starting from 2006 to 2010. Other institutions that were incorporated in this particular study were Cooperative Promotion Offices, Agriculture Offices, Agricultural Research Institutes and NGOs were the major ones. Due to time and financial constraints, it was out of the reach of the researcher to include all cooperative unions in the region. Therefore, the study was limited to this pioneer union that has an ample experience in agricultural technology dissemination and large potential in the future.

Related Literature Reviewed

The concepts of cooperatives Definition of Cooperatives Definition of seed The Ethiopian seed system History and evolution of the Ethiopian seed sector Recent efforts to build a vibrant seed sector Seed production and management Seed Marketing Nature of seed marketing The role of quality control and certification with respect to farmers multiplied seed The potentials and limitations of farmers based seed multiplication 29/06/2011

Conceptual framework
Primary Cooperative Select model farmers Provide other inputs Procure grains from member farmers
Individual farmers Land preparation Sowing Crop production practices Marketing Sharing experience

Role of actors in local seed multiplication

Cooperative Union Training Provision of seeds and other agri-inputs Collection Processing Dissemination

Other supportive wings/actors Agricultural

offices, Research institutes, cooperative promotion offices and NGOs Provide technical services Dissemination of new varieties Training on behavior of specific crop seeds

Demographic and socioeconomic factors Age, sex, marital status Education level Farming land owned Capacity to purchase input on cash Farming experience


Research Methodology
Description of the study area
The study was conducted in Lume Adama Farmers Cooperative Union that was established as the first cooperative union in the country by four primary cooperatives societies holding 3,975 individual farmers in Lume Woreda of Eastern Showa Zone in 1997, with the initial total capital of Birr 150,000. At present the Union has 33 primary coop > 23,000 individual farmers, 3w Currently the total capital of the union reached more than 20 million. It is located in the central part of the country at 70 km South East of Addis Ababa.

Map of the study area

1. Ethiopia

3. Study area 2. Oromia


Sampling design
1st one cooperative union which was selected purposely due to it is pioneer cooperative union in the country and in implementing local seed multiplication activities respectively. 2nd one woreda was selected purposively again for the research being major production area in the operational area. 3rd three primary cooperatives were selected from 14 primary cooperative societies in selected woreda based on their year of membership and participation in seed multiplication activities facilitated by the union.

Random sampling techniques was used to select the individual participants from each of three cooperative societies after n is calculated by using the following formula (Kothari, 2004) n = Z2. p. q. N e2 (N-1) +p.q.N Where n = Sample size
Z = 95% Confidence interval under normal curve (1.96)

e = acceptable error term (0.05) /standard error p = Sample proportion N= population size q =1-p n = 139


Distribution of individual respondents, FGD and KI

Distribution of individual respondents by sample cooperatives

Name of coop

Male Female Total 108 127 98 333 1596 1191 836 3623

Male 56 41 28 125 Female Total 5 5 4 14 61 46 32

Dibandiba Ejere Dhekabora Total

1488 1064 738 3290


Key informant and focus group discussion

Tool Key informants (KIs) Type of groups Woreda Agri-Office Woreda coop PO DAs Coop employees Researchers Sub total FGDs Current MCs Person 3 2 3 3 2 13 12

Former MCs
Sub total


Types and sources of data

Both primary and secondary types of data were used. Primary data were collected from sampled respondents, FGDs & KIs The secondary data were also collected from cooperative union, primary cooperatives, cooperative promotion office, agricultural development office, agricultural research institutes, and other recorded documents.

Method of data collection A combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches was employed to collect data. Primary data were collected from sample respondents by using questionnaire assisted personal interview, which were designed to generate data on some social, institutional and economic variables. FGDs and KIs from different groups was also used.


Method of data analysis

The study used both qualitative and quantitative methods of data analysis. In addition analytical methods such as correlation and regression were employed to analyze the data and make the inferences. SPSS Version 19 was employed for correlation and regression analysis.



4.1. The supportive activities extended by Lume Adama Farmers Cooperative Union to its member affiliates for local seed multiplication. 4.1.1. Local Seed Multiplication Activity of the Union LAFCU began the supply of agricultural inputs both fertilizers and improved seeds since1997 when the union was established. The objective of the establishment of the union was to solve the problems of these major agricultural inputs which could not be solved by the existing primary cooperatives and to increase the bargaining power of those cooperatives in other aspects. As per the discussion made with senior cooperative experts, there were strong debates among officials and cooperative experts on the establishment of LAFCU. According to this information from those senior experts the contribution of Haile Gebre, the former General Director of Federal Cooperative Agency was remarkable not only in the establishment of LAFCU but also in bringing change to cooperative movement in Ethiopia.

The founders of LAFCU, the 1st cooperative union in Ethiopia led by Ato Haile Gabre

Source: Photo Album of the Union


Seed multiplication steps and flows

As it is indicated in the following diagram, the main source of basic seed is research centers. The basic seeds developed in research centers are distributed to cooperative union and other actors like SE, NGOs and Private PLC for re-multiplication and commercialization of those seeds. The basic seeds once submitted to the said actors and multiplied become certified seeds (C1,C2) based on the existing conditions like favorable climate, seed types and varieties. The union distributes basic seeds received from research centers to few selected farmers for multiplication. It again purchases the multiplied seeds, processes and redistributes to larger farmers . It also purchases certified seeds from Seed Enterprises, NGOs, PLCs and other cooperative unions. The union may also sells certified seeds to other actors when it collected in excess from its members. Finally, it purchases seeds which are converted to grains from farmers and sells to other actors like processors, exporters, World Food Program (WFP) and Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX).


Seed course from source up to destination

Research Centers Sources of basic seeds

Sources of certified seeds Seed enterprises NGOs, PLCs and other cooperative unions


Few Farmers

Large Farmers

Processors Exporters WFP ECX

Source: Researchers own design


Demographic and socio-economic xlcs of respondents

54.7% were in adult age group 90% were male > 90% were married 25.9% read and write and again similar percent have attended secondary education HH size was 6.63 person in average 38% have 5-10 years of membership in coop Owned 4.19 oxen in average Owned 2.46 donkeys in average Owned 2.35 ha of land in average 43% have 3-6 yrs of experience on local seed muln.

Other Factors affecting the seed production practices in the area

Types of input Fertilizer Chemicals Both fertilizer and chemicals Frequency 29 5 90 Percent 20.9 3.6 64.7

Others too
Total Source of fertilizer Cooperative Traders 1 and 2 Others Total Source of chemical Cooperatives Traders 1 and 2 above Others Total



81 12 34 12 139

58.3 8.6 24.5 8.6 100.0

36 65 30 8

25.9 46.8 21.6 5.8


Source: Own survey result, 2011



Reasons for purchasing inputs from cooperative and preconditions to get credit from cooperatives
Reasons Credit provision No other source provide sufficient amount Lower price To get patronage funds All of the above Total Precondition to get credit from cooperatives Membership Personal guarantee Agricultural land Group guarantee All of the above 1 and 3 above Total Capacity to purchase input in cash Yes No Total Frequency 19 33 65 3 19 139 73 2 19 1 10 34 139 123 16 139 Percent 13.7 23.7 46.8 2.2 13.6 100.0 52.5 1.4 13.7 0.7 7.2 24.5 100.0 88.5 11.5 100.0

Source: Own survey result, 2011


4.1.5. Factors affecting farmers participation in local seed

multiplication facilitated by LAFCU

In this study, members participation in local seed multiplication was assumed, as it has no difference among members. It was tried to identify the relation and the significance of members participation in local seed multiplication and members personal and household data using statistical methods such as regression and correlation. Based on this, number of family size, amount of cultivated land, Capacity to purchase input on cash, and number of oxen owned found statistically significant at P = 0.05 significance level and also positively correlated with members participation in local seed multiplication. Other variables like age of the member, sex of the member, educational level, marital status and years of cooperative membership found to have no significant relation to participation in local seed multiplication.

Table 23. Correlation result for insignificant variables for members participation in local seed multiplication
Correlations Selected variables Age of respondents Sex of respondents Marital status of respondents Education level of respondents Years of Cooperative Membership Total birr gained from seeds Pearson Correlation Pearson Correlation Pearson Correlation Pearson Correlation Pearson Correlation Pearson Correlation Years of Total birr gained Cooperative from seed Education Membership level of respondents -.455(**) .594(**) .005 -.294(**) .135 1 -.489(**) -.068 .68 -.142 -.489 1 .084 .92 -.127 -.068 .084 1

Age of respondents 1
.077 -.235(**) -.455(**) .594(**) .005

Sex of respondents .077

1 .176 -.294(**) .068 -.092

Marital status of respondent -.235(**)

.176 1 .135 -.142 -.127

** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).

Source: Own survey result, 2011


Table 24. Correlation result for significant variables for members participation in local seed multiplication
Correlations Capacity to purchase input on cash .090 Total birr gained from seed Number of oxen owned .398(**) Selected variables Family size Pearson Correlation Pearson Correlation Family size 1 Land owned .288(**)


Land owned





Capacity to purchase input Pearson on cash Correlation Number of oxen owned Pearson Correlation









Total birr gained from seed Pearson Correlation





** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed). * Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).

Source: Own survey result, 2011


Table 25. Regression result of selected variables for members participation in local seed multiplication
Adjusted R Square Mode 1 1 R .687 R Square .471 .428 1249.9292 STD. Error Of the Estimate

a Predictors: (Constant), Number of Oxen for cultivation, Age of the Member, Capacity to purchase input on cash, Sex of the Member, Marital Status of the Member, Family Size of the Member, Educational Level of the Member, Years of Cooperative Membership, Total cultivable land.

Coefficients (a)
Correlations Selected variables Unstandardized Coefficients B -144.684 -5.387 -19.872 -68.283 99.618 -29.527 168.106 385.637 541.831 -69.992 Standardized Coefficients Std.Error Beta 1190.781 15.138 -.033 378.359 -.004 186.437 -.028 127.401 17.099 52.988 62.702 273.782 87.847 .071 -.166 .266 .681 .141 -.095 Sig. t -.122 -.356 -.053 -.366 .782 -1.727 3.173 6.150 1.979 -.095 .904 .723 .958 .715 .436 .087 .002** .000** .050** .427 Constant Age of respondents Sex of respondents Marital status of respondents Education level of respondents Years of Cooperative Membership Family size Land owned Capacity to purchase input on cash Number of oxen owned

1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9

A Dependent Variable: Total Birr from participating in local seed multiplication The regression result of Table 25. Shows that participation of sampled members in local seed multiplication is significant at significance level of 0.05 and explained by variables such as family size, total farm land owned and capacity to purchase input on cash.

4.2. The state of pre and post local seed multiplication activities performed by cooperatives and member farmers Actors in local seed multiplication are expected to play respective role in local seed multiplications facilitated by LAFCU The role of different actors are discussed as follows based on data from MoU and Discussion made with FGDs and KI


4.2.1 Role of actors in local seed multiplication facilitated by cooperative union

Actors such as farmers, primary cooperatives, the union,

Agriculture Office, Cooperative Promotion Office, Research Centers, Seed Enterprises and NGOs. In addition to the above actors insurance companies are providing crop insurance product coverage for seed multiplying farmers which was facilitated by the union. They all are working together to assist the production and productivity of the agricultural sector, which is the engine for all other sectors in the country. According to the MoU developed by these actors and discussion made with FGDs and KI, have their own roles to play.

Role of Actors
Farmers Primary coops Coop Union Agricultural offices at different levels Research centers


4.2.2 Post-seed multiplication activities performed by the union Collection of multiplied seeds

29/06/2011 Processing of collected seeds

Source: photo from union, 2011



The seeds once cleaned will be packed with different sizes in kg (mostly 30kg and 50kg) with small labeling and stored for next crop season.

4.3. Challenges and opportunities of local seed

multiplication by LAFCU
4.3.1. Benefits of participating in local seed multiplication by farmers 38.8% raised high yield is the benefits the other benefits were priority to other inputs and high price


Problems/challenges of local seed multn

According to FGDS and KI, Cooperatives lack skilled man power and materials to process, grade, pack and transport seeds collected from producer farmers that has limited the role of cooperative in seed multiplication. Reluctance of the union in taking action when farmers faced seed problem The union has not served its members to its full capacity Weather problem has dual influence on seed multiplying farmers Delay in distribution of seed on time and setting the price Inadequacy of seed distributed and other allied inputs Absence of agronomists at union level to assist the seed multiplication work technically Lack of appropriate storage place and modern cleaning machines Shortage of credit extended for seed multiplication project by the government In addition > 40% respondents raised quantity problem

Solutions recommended by FGDs, KI

Looking for sources of seeds before the coming of the sowing time. Seeing seed quality in terms of purity, germination percentage and variety. Allocating resources ( as agronomists, storage place and processing materials). Special storage should be arranged along with packing materials both before and after processing of seed. Farmers needs the guidance of DA and other technical bodies. Agricultural office should recruit, capacitate and control very carefully the seed multiplying farmers. Research institutes should introduce productive seed varieties on time and in required quantity. > 44% respondents said union should solve the problem.


4.3.4. Opportunities for LAFCU to facilitate local seed multiplications

The operational area of the union is in the central part of the country where multiple options are there as sources of different seeds required by the member farmers. Availability of two national research institutions. The ample experience gained in being the pioneer cooperative union in distributing agricultural technologies. Extension of crop insurance policy schemes developed by NISCO and OIC to overcome uncertainties. Allocation of some budget by the government for seed multiplication activity. GTP



5.1. Conclusions GTP laid down by the country, increasing agricultural productivity using modern agricultural input plays a vital role. Among the important agricultural inputs, seed took the major place. To improve the use of improved seed, ensuring the supply of standard quality at the required quantity, at the right time and at fair price is decisive.

Cont-- Different literatures reviews made in developing countries including Ethiopia emphasized on farmers based seed multiplications by cooperatives as the main alternative seed source. Seed multiplication by cooperatives can be considered as a means to generate additional income or even an alternative to specialize on as an income generating activity. The large amount of seeds multiplied by the farmers in the area during past five years was wheat followed by chick pea. Teff and lentil were found to be the least seed multiplied in the area.


Cont-- The main reason for the establishment of LAFCU was for distribution of agricultural inputs mainly Fertilizers and improved Seeds. Wheat, Chick pea and Teff were found to be the major seeds multiplied by the farmers in the study area respectively. Majority of the farmers purchase input from cooperatives because of their low price and again most of the farmers have the capacity to purchase input on cash. From all demographic and socio-economic factors family size, land owned, capacity to purchase input on cash and number of oxen owned were found to positively correlate with farmers use of improved seed from factors affecting farmers participation in local seed multiplication.

Cont-- Farmers, primary cooperatives, and Union were the major actors playing different role in local seed multiplication activities in the study area. Agricultural Offices, Cooperative Promotion Offices, Research Institutes, Seed Enterprises and NGOs are the other supporting wings. Processors, ECX, WFP and Exporters were the final actors for which seed converted to grains will be targeted by farmers and their cooperatives. Agricultural insurance is the other best technology option to transfer natural risk of seed multiplication activity in the study area. Collection, storing, processing and dissemination of seed were the post seed multiplication activities performed by LAFCU. Inadequacy of seed quantity, poor quality, problem of weather condition, weak linkage between primary cooperatives and union, absence of agronomists and special service storage at union level, delay in setting price of seed multiplied and unfair selection of farmers were the major challenges of local seed multiplication found in the study area.


5.2. Recommendations
Based on the research findings of this study, the following points are recommended to improve farmers participation in multiplication of seed and overall supply of seed in the area. Farmers based seed multiplication by cooperative has to be strengthened since it has vital role in minimizing shortage of seed and increasing agricultural productivity. The involvement of cooperative has positive impact in increasing the bargaining power of farmers and to get market information and materials as well as technical support which are difficult to own individually like seed cleaning machine and standard storage for seed. But due to lack of skilled man power and other important resource, it is difficult to conclude that they were giving effective and efficient service to seed producing member farmers.

Cont -- The union should serve its farmer members with its full capacity and fairly in both provision of basic seeds and collection of multiplied seeds at the right time and reasonable price. Primary cooperatives should be strengthened to create both upward and downward linkage as major intermediary between farmers and the union. Clear and transparent MoU should be developed and dully signed among actors in local seed multiplication to insure active participation of all concerned. Crop insurance technology began in the area needs to be extended to member farmers with the initiative of the union to protect member farmers in general and seed multiplying farmers in particular from natural disasters. Cooperatives are important actors in facilitating local seed multiplication and can contribute a lot in minimizing the seed shortage of the country and boost agricultural production and productivity, if responsible organizations pay attention to strengthen and make use of them.

Thank you!!
For your attention!!!


Preparing farm land which is managed very well in advance and can give good production of expected seed. Purchasing basic seeds from the union or cooperatives according to the price set by the concerned body. Sowing seeds according to the recommendations of the respective development agents with other recommended inputs. Taking necessary crop production practices such as weeding or using herbicides and pesticides recommended for specific crop. Protecting seeds from mixing with other crop both on field and on trashing field by using separation means at field and preparing trashing place very carefully. Selling harvested seeds directly to the union according to the price agreed and determined by the concerned body (which will be mentioned on the agreement made between farmers and the union in collaboration with Woreda agricultural office). Seeds multiplying farmers are expected to share their experience to other farmers who are supposed to buy seeds multiplied by them.

Primary Coops

Primary cooperatives have little contribution in seed multiplication but they indirectly contribute in providing other inputs like fertilizer and in recruiting model farmers for seed multiplication activity. They purchase seeds which are converted into grain from the farmers by using the credit arranged by the union. They serve as channels for upward and downward linkage between farmers and union in distributing inputs to and procuring outputs from member farmers.

Coop Union
Identifying the seed demand of member farmers and seeds that suit both climate of the area and have high market demand. Cooperative union will search for sources of basic seed in collaboration with agricultural office. The union provides the available seeds to farmers on time through their primary cooperatives. Providing other inputs that assist the success of seed multiplication activity. Preparation of storage place and packing materials for seeds multiplied that need to be redistributed to other farmers after processing. Purchasing/procuring multiplied seeds from farmers on time and at reasonable/agreed price. Performing processing activities such as cleaning, packaging, storing and redistributing quality seeds to other farmers in order to increase the production of the area. Supply of other agricultural inputs like quality herbicides, pesticides, animal drugs and other small agricultural equipments. Consumer goods/industrial products such as sugar, soap, food oil and fuel oil if possible.

Agricultural offices
The agriculture office through its structure at different levels is expected to contribute much effort in assisting local seed multiplication facilitated by the cooperative union. Development agents at kebele level follow, assist and give special attention to the day to day activities of the farmers involved in local seed multiplication. They are aware of the capacity and demand of each farmer under their jurisdiction. Agricultural offices existing at zonal and beyond provide capacity building activities such as training, allocation of budget for seed multiplication activity in addition to searching for sources of basic seeds and other allied technologies assisting such activity. Arranging research centers and Farmers Training Centers (FTC) for new agricultural technology demonstration. Allocation of necessary technicians assisting this activity when needed. Arranging field days whereby the experience of well performing farmers will be demonstrated on field.

Research Institutes

Both the national and regional research centers are working on producing basic and pre-basic seeds which can be commercialized by seed enterprises and other actors like cooperatives etc. They also produce agricultural tools and equipments that assist modern farming. Training farmers on the use and application of new agricultural technologies.