Agricultural markets represent an important way of improving the farm-level supply of seeds for producers. They also have the added advantage of offering a source of extra income to farmers who sell there. Farmers need access to a diversity of crops and varieties that answer their particular agro-ecological and market demands. Until recently, agricultural markets have been associated with a number of negative impacts, including reducing on-farm genetic diversity and narrowing the crop genetic resource base of agricultural systems. But research for this book shows that, on the contrary, local markets can actually increase producers' access to crop genetic diversity. Studies of seed markets in a range of low income countries also reveal that attempts to codify and regulate these markets may in fact have the opposite effect - reducing the diversity of crop genetic resources available to local farmers. Case studies examined in some detail include village markets for soghum and millet in Mali and local pigeonpea seed markets in Makueni District in eastern Kenya.

Seed Trade in Rural Markets
Implications for Crop Diversity and Agricultural Development
Edited By L Anderson,
T J Dalton & L Lipper
Earthscan, 2009. 224 pp.
ISBN 978 1 84407 785 4
GBP22.95 - €35
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