A DESCRIPTIVE ANALYSIS OF LOCAL SEED SYSTEMS IN SOUTH WESTERN NIGERIA
Seeds carry potentials for improved crop productivity and are often the only technological innovation available to most resource-poor African farmers. In order to assess seed sector development in South Western Nigeria, a survey was conducted among 94 farmers randomly sampled from five farm settlement locations in three states of the region to investigate seed acquisition and utilization among farmers. The data collected were subjected to descriptive analysis. For all the food crops investigated and over the three-year period queried in the survey questionnaires, percentage of total land area cultivated with the seeds of improved varieties was over 90%. In spite of wide adoption of improved varieties from the formal seed sector, most of the farmers used seeds of improved varieties from previous harvests as seed source for subsequent cropping, indicating low seed replacement rate. Moreover, the highest proportion of smallholder farmers selected seeds of improved varieties because of expected high yields and consumer preferences. Implications of the results for strengthening the seed industry are discussed.