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Seed Multiplication and Distribution Centers

  1. Product Description: Seed multiplication and distribution centers are production, storage and marketing enterprises where selected seeds (natives and foreign) are harvested and stored in selected locations of the Region and distributed to farmers in the Region. These centers could have specialized seed multiplication functions in different agri-ecological zones depending on the type of seeds required in each zone. The seeds to be multiplied will be those of high yielding varieties and/or disease resistant or which in general have a superior quality than seeds being used in current farming practices. .

  1. Market Potential: One of the major complaints for lower farm productivity in the Region is the lack of seeds which are high yielding, disease resistant and less susptible to drought. To overcome this major problem, research and seed multiplication centers have been established in a selected number of sites in the country. However, these centers do not supply enough quantities of seeds to farmers. Consequently, selected seeds are imported to meet existing demand. Even the existing seed multiplication centers are located in areas which are far away from the central parts of the Amhara Region. Currently, there are a number of agricultural research centers in the Region. These centers are engaged in testing and determining the most appropriate types of seeds for the different agro-climatic zones of the Region. Once seed varieties are selected they should be multiplied, cleaned, stored and distributed to farmers. These functions can only be done effectively if there are enterprises which undertake seed multiplication and distribution activities on commercial basis. These enterprises will receive selected seeds from the research centers and multiply them on their commercial farms and also on farms owned by individual through out-growers schemes. The potential demand for selected seeds of different variety in the Region is huge. These seeds can be grouped as cereals, pulses and oil seeds.

  1. The demand for selected seeds of cereals could be in tens of thousands of tons every year. The Amhara Region usually produces about one third of the cereals production of the country. For example, in 2004/05, national production of cereals was 106.5 million quintals and the share of the Amhara Region was about 35 million quintals. If we assume that the average input- output ratio of cereals is 1:20, the total seed requirement for cereals in 2004/05 was about 1.75 million quintals. This was the potential demand for selected varieties of cereal seeds in the Region. If we assume that at least 50 percent of the seed requirement will be selected seeds, the aggregate demand for these seeds would have been about 0.87 million quintals in 2004/05. As more and more farmers realize the benefits of using selected seeds, the demand for these seeds will increase every year. .


  1. Source of raw material: The main "raw materials" for a seed multiplication center is a variety of selected seed or seeds of different crops. These seeds could be obtained from the Region's agricultural research centers from seed multiplication centers of other Regions or from imports authorized by the appropriate authority.    

4.   "Process and Technology": The main stages of establishing and operating a seed multiplication center are securing the land for growing selected seeds, selecting and contracting with out growers and distributing the selected seeds, organizing and undertaking the farming and harvesting activities, cleaning and storing the seeds and finally marketing the seeds. For operating a seed multiplication farm, farm equipment and implements such as tractors, harvesters, etc will be needed. .


  1. Estimated Investment: For a farm whose size will be about 200 hectares and to be located in a woina dega area of the Region, the estimated investment will be:-

Ø  Buildings/shades 200 m2 at Birr 2000/m2          = Birr     400,000

Ø  Machinery equipment .......................... ..          = Birr     800,000

Ø  Working capital.....................................              = Birr     400,000

                                                                              Total    = Birr    1,600,000


  1. Benefits: Increases farm production of the Region, contributes to food self-sufficiency and food security, decrease the dependence on imports for selected seeds. 


  1. Location:  Different agro-climatic zones of the Region.