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Analysis of sorghum social seed network in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia

S. Welderufael
F. Abay
A. Ayana
T. Amede


Proper understanding of the nature of seed exchange among farming communities is fundamental to achieving a sustainable seed system and maintaining crop genetic resources. The objective of this study was to investigate sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) seed sources and analyse their network flow among farmers in Tigray in Northern Ethiopia. A survey was conducted using a semi-structured questionnaire, involving 153 sorghum household farmers selected randomly from six villages; namely Gezaadara, Medabe, Gezameker, Waekel, Munira and Gandostela. Farmers who plaid major roles in the sorghum seed exchange network were identified using social seed network analysis. Results showed that bartering and own-saved seeds were the dominant sources of sorghum seed for farmers throughout the study area; and sorghum seed flow was more confined within villages than beyond. Social capital such as cultural norms, trust and farmers’ desire to increase sorghum production in the communities were the fundamental drivers for farmer sorghum seed exchange. Individuals distinguished as nodal farmers who had high bridging roles could also act as entry points for improved sorghum seed exchange interventions in Tigray.

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eISSN: 2072-6589
print ISSN: 1021-9730