The Role of Seed Producers and Marketing Cooperative on Wheat Crop Production and its Implication to Food Security
Sntayoh, Getachew Aklilu
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Ethiopian agriculture is largely small scale subsistence oriented and crucially dependent on rainfall. Increasing the production and productivity of the crop sub sector is one of the measures taken in Ethiopia to assure food security. This improvement can only be realized if modern technologies are utilized; among the most modern technologies seed take the first priority due to its nature. However, the low capacity of Government Company, sluggish growth of the private sector in the seed industry and the nature of the demand of subsistent farmers obliged to seek for another alternative seed source. The establishment of seed producer and marketing cooperative is an essential area to be coordinated for obtaining the seed on time. The participation of farmers in the Seed production and marketing cooperatives is constrained by various facts, farm characteristics, socio-economic and institutional factors. Hence to evaluate their role and identify most influencing factors of Seed producer and marketing cooperatives in Tigray region one Seed producer and marketing cooperatives was considered Hiryti MekanSPC. Primary and secondary data were employed in this research mainly primary data were used from interview result of 160 selected farmers from 3Kebeles Endamokoni Woreda. Both descriptive and econometric data analysis techniques were applied. In the econometric analysis the role of seed producer and marketing cooperatives on wheat crop production and its implication to food security is analyzed using the Heckman two-stage procedures and Greer and Thorbecke measuring food poverty(FGT). To see the seed marketing system of the SPC we use Focus discussion. Out come of the Heckman two stage analysis reveals , the treated group households possess on average more than the controlled group households by Birr 1637.48 per year. In the first stage of the Heckman two-step procedure the variables that are found to determine participation in using seed from SPC five. After the selectivity bias is controlled by the model in the second stage the seven variables were found to have significantly determined household wheat crop production. The descriptive statistics revealed that 93.43 percent of the participants in using seed from SPC and 85.72 percent of non participants in using seed from SPC are found to be food secure while 6.57 percent of the users and 14.28 percent of the non users found to be food insecure. Hiryti-Mekan SPC is farmers’ cooperative main purpose is to ensure timely delivery of production inputs, i.e. seed. The main marketing systems of Hiryti-Mekan SPC are in two ways, to accept and to sell seeds from members, farmers or other agencies. But, this study found out that the marketing system is still obstructed by logical, technical, and ideological constraints. Thus, The cooperatives should take actions by building their capacity especially in the areas of technical personnel, offices, warehouse and machineries, diversification of service delivery, participation in social affairs, consistent/regular and sufficient delivery of dividend/returns and improving the awareness of members through education, enabling to production.