Linking Seed Producer Cooperatives with Seed Value Chain Actors: Implications for Enhancing the Autonomy and Entrepreneurship of Seed Producer Cooperatives in Southern Region of Ethiopia


  • Shimelis Altaye
  • Hussein Mohammed Hawassa University, Integrated Seed Sector Development Program, Department of plant and Horticultural Science, Ethiopia



Local seed business, cooperatives, autonomy, entrepreneurship


  Local seed business (LSBs) emerged in different parts of Ethiopia with the aim to accelerate the transition from farmers’ groups and community-based seed production towards farmers’ groups becoming more autonomous, commercial, and entrepreneurial in their approach. Accordingly, seed producer cooperatives have been targeted for this purpose or to provide quality seed for farmers and to undertake seed business at local levels and often beyond. However, the development of the seed producer cooperatives (SPCs) towards local seed business is not adequately assessed. Using a case study methodology, this paper tries to fill the gap and assess the development of seed producer cooperatives towards local seed business by exploring the degree of autonomy and entrepreneurship in four selected seed producer cooperatives found in Southern regions of Ethiopia. The result shows that there exist some similarities and differences among the seed producer cooperatives in their development towards autonomy and entrepreneurship in seed business. The cross cutting issues is that all cooperatives depend on stakeholders for access to basic seed and several services (such as processing, marketing, credit). This negatively affects the autonomy or institutional and economic viability of the seed producer cooperatives. Likewise, the development of all SPCs towards entrepreneurship is at infant stage. Regardless, the presence of a seed sector platform creates a joint vision and regular discussion forum for main operators of the seed value chain. Thus, it might have a strong influence on the development of cooperatives towards local seed business or autonomy and entrepreneurship in the near future.