Buying into new seed
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, United Kingdom, United States of America
The goal of the out-of-stock study is to improve an understanding of how farmers make their maize seed choices, says Pieter Rutsaert, Markets and Value Chain Specialist at CIMMYT.
“We do this by inviting farmers to a mock agrodealer store that we set up in their villages and give them a small budget to purchase a bag of seed. However, not all farmers walk into the same store: some will find their preferred variety, others won’t. Some will have access to additional trait information or see some varieties with price promotions while others don’t.”
Rutsaert acknowledges that breeding programs and their partner seed companies have done a great job at giving farmers access to maize hybrids with priority traits such as drought tolerance and high yield. CIMMYT then works closely with local seed companies to get varieties into the hands of farmers. “We want to extend that support by providing insights to companies and public breeding programs on how to get new varieties more quickly into the hands of farmers.”