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East Africa: Informal Markets 'Key to Farmers'

Arusha — Informal markets largely ignored by seed initiatives depend very much on smallholder farmers in Africa, according to a recent study, whose findings were released in Nairobi early this week.

The study indicates that reliance on formal markets to deliver seeds for crop varieties is low, forcing small peasants to purchase more than a half of their seeds every year through local markets and other informal outlets.

Study findings present an opportunity for improving access to better crop varieties for smallholder farmers to deal with climate, nutrition and other production challenges on the continent, where food security remains a major concern.

International Institute of Tropical Agriculture

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