Regulatory Options to Improve Seed Systems for Vegetatively Propagated Crops in Developing Countries

IFPRI Discussion Paper 2029

55 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2021

See all articles by David J. Spielman

David J. Spielman

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Marcel Gatto

Social and Nutrition Sciences Division of the International Potato Center (CIP), Hanoi, Vietnam

Tesfamicheal Wossen

International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)

Margaret McEwan

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Tahirou Abdoulaye

International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)

Mywish Maredia

Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics

Guy Hareau

International Potato Center

Date Written: June 17, 2021

Abstract

In many developing countries, smallholder farmers cultivating vegetatively propagated crops (VPCs) have limited access to quality planting material. This constraint can limit both the yield of and returns on VPC cultivation. Yet policy and regulatory initiatives designed to strengthen access to quality VPC planting materials have been relatively unsuccessful to date. Part of the problem is the unique biological and economic characteristics of vegetative propagation and its distinctness from cereal crops, which dominate narratives on seed system reforms. Drawing on qualitative analysis of policy and practice, this study examines reform options related to quality assurance regulations in four crop-country combinations: cassava in Nigeria and Vietnam, and potato in Kenya and Vietnam. The study highlights theory and evidence on existing models of regulation; alternative models that may better incentivize cost-effective multiplication and distribution; and recommendations for policy, regulation, and investment in VPC seed markets. Findings indicate that regulations designed around strict and centralized quality control systems tend to limit market size, while more localized production systems are limited by both capacity and reach. These findings suggest the need for alternatives that balance a permissive regulatory regime with decentralized production systems, grassroots capacity development, market surveillance, and systems that integrate internal (producer-level) quality assurance with external (regulatory) quality assurance.

Keywords: KENYA, NIGERIA, EAST AFRICA, WEST AFRICA, AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA, AFRICA, VIET NAM, VIETNAM, SOUTH EAST ASIA, ASIA, regulations, seed systems, seeds, crops, developing countries, policies, quality assurance, markets, cassava, potato

Suggested Citation

Spielman, David J. and Gatto, Marcel and Wossen, Tesfamicheal and McEwan, Margaret and Abdoulaye, Tahirou and Maredia, Mywish and Hareau, Guy, Regulatory Options to Improve Seed Systems for Vegetatively Propagated Crops in Developing Countries (June 17, 2021). IFPRI Discussion Paper 2029, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3868901

David J. Spielman (Contact Author)

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Marcel Gatto

Social and Nutrition Sciences Division of the International Potato Center (CIP), Hanoi, Vietnam ( email )

Avenida La Molina 1895
Lima, 1558
Peru

Tesfamicheal Wossen

International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) ( email )

PMB 5320, Oyo Road, Ibadan
Oyo State, 200001
Tanzania

Margaret McEwan

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Tahirou Abdoulaye

International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)

PMB 5320, Oyo Road, Ibadan
Oyo State, 200001
Tanzania

Mywish Maredia

Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics ( email )

MI
United States

Guy Hareau

International Potato Center ( email )

Avenida La Molina 1895
Lima, 1558
Peru

HOME PAGE: http://www.cipotato.org/

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