Small-scale Maize Seed Production in West and Central Africa:Profitability, Constraints and Options

"Seed can play 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 objectives of the study are to (1) conduct econometric analysis of maize seed profitability (2) identify the constraints of maize seed production in the study area (3) identify the criteria used by maize seed farmers to select seed for production and (4) develop strategies for options for the integration of informal and formal maize seed producers to promote farmer incentives for maize seed production."