Farmers' perceptions on improved bread wheat varieties and formal seed supply in Ethiopia
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The paper presents smallholder farmers' perceptions on attributes of bread wheat varieties based on primary data collected from 524 households in four major wheat growing areas of Ethiopia. The results indicated high value of attainment indices for improved varieties compared to landraces, which shows how the demanded attributes are embodied more in improved ones. Grain yield and yellow and stem rust resistance are attributes that are desired most compared to others. However, there is high variability in attainment indices among improved varieties for the different attributes, which suggests the need to target varieties for the different environments including disease and drought tolerance. The results also showed inconsistency between the value of attainment indices of varieties and the amount of seed supplied by the formal sector, which resulted in mismatch between demand and supply leading to considerable carryover seed. The formal sector needs to consider diversifying its bread wheat varietal portfolio and increase its capacity for seed supply to respond to emerging challenges and effectively address farmers’ preferences.