Value chain opportunities - Wheat

Description of the topic

The focus is on “Tracking wheat varieties across the seed value chain in Ethiopia.”

Over the years, the Ethiopian seed system has evolved and gone through different phases. Currently, it incorporates actors engaged in plant breeding; variety release; breeder seed maintenance; pre-basic seed production; basic seed production; certified seed production; farmer based seed production; and seed distribution and sales. The type and number of actors in the system are growing and becoming more complex with the decentralized system. Overall seed marketing activities are carried out either through a public channel that follows a top-down distribution system or through direct marketing by private seed companies that have their own varieties. In addition, there is a certain uniqueness in the distribution system of basic and certified seeds.

While many research results indicate low levels of varietal adoption, recent research using DNA fingerprinting found higher levels of adoption and also low levels of varietal identification by farmers. The mismatch between farmers’ varietal identification and estimated adoption levels requires further investigation to gain a clear understanding of its causes. This will require designing and implementing policy and development measures.

Work expectations

There is a need to assess the causes of the mismatch between farmers’ varietal identification and estimated adoption levels. This assessment requires generating information by interviewing relevant actors on their seed production and management practices and by analyzing collected seed at different levels and comparing actors’ responses using DNA sequencing. These activities are planned for 2017. If the proposal is accepted, the candidate will use the collected information to generate knowledge of varietal identification, the actors and the causes of the mismatch.

Required skills

Good knowledge of econometrics with STATA skills.

Proficiency in spoken and written English is required; good scientific writing skills.