The Economic Rationale of Recycling Hybrid Seeds in Northern Tanzania

  • Ephraim Nkonya International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), 2033 K Street N.W. Washington D.C. 20006 USA
  • Wilfred Mwangi CIMMYT, Economics Program, Nairobi Kenya
Keywords: maize hybrid, risk, seed recycling, Tanzania


A survey of 126 farmers was conducted with the objective of evaluating the economic rationale for recycling hybrid maize seed in northern Tanzania. About 80% of the sample farmers recycled hybrid and open pollinated maize seeds for three to six years as response to cash constraint and to hedge against production and financial risks. Farmers who recycled improved seed realized profits and remunerative returns to labor even when the producer price of maize fell by 46%. Hence, seed recycling is an economically rational behavior. The implications of these findings are researchers in Tanzania need to develop hybrid maize varieties that may be recycled without significant inbreeding depression. The extension services also need to advise farmers on seed selection methods that minimize inbreeding depression.
Key words: maize hybrid, risk, seed recycling, Tanzania.
Eastern African Journal of Rural Development Vol.20(1) 2004: 113-124

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eISSN: 0377-7103