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Publication | 21 December 2020

Variety adoption and demand for quality seed in the central dry zone of Myanmar

Global Food and Nutrition Security

For countries like Myanmar, where crop production accounts for the largest share of agricultural GDP, improved varieties are an essential source of increased and/or more stable crop yields. The adoption of improved varieties often increases the incentives for farmers to invest in complementary improved crop and soil management practices. For this reason most countries give priority to variety development, and Myanmar is no exception despite the very limited research budget allocated to crop research by the government. Yet improved varieties only generate benefits for farmers if they are adopted, and farmers only adopt new varieties if they are aware of their existence and benefits. For farmers to evaluate and adopt improved varieties they need access to quality seed (seed which is pure, exhibiting only the true genetic characteristics of the variety, with a high level of germination and uncontaminated by disease, weed seeds or other foreign matter). Access to quality seed is important because the attributes of farmer-saved seed degenerate with multiple seasons of use. Sustained benefits from variety adoption therefore require farmer awareness of, and access to, quality seed which preserves those benefits. Despite the importance of variety adoption and access to quality seed for crop productivity growth very few survey-based studies have been conducted in Myanmar. Our study focuses on the Dry Zone.