Misidentification by farmers of the crop varieties they grow: Lessons from DNA fingerprinting of wheat in Ethiopia


Accurate identification of crop varieties grown by farmers is crucial for, among others, crop management, food security, and varietal development and dissemination purposes. One may expect varietal identification to be more challenging in the context of developing countries where literacy and education are limited and informal seed systems and seed recycling are common. This paper evaluates the extent to which smallholder farmers misidentify their wheat varieties in Ethiopia and explores the associated factors and their implications. Correct identification was positively associated with farmer education and seed purchases from trusted sources (cooperatives or known farmers) and negatively associated with seed recycling. Farmers’ varietal identification thereby is problematic and leads to erroneous results in adoption and impact assessments.

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Publication: PLoS ONE
Number of pages: 16
File type: PDF
File size: 555.48 KB

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