ICARDA'S Approach in Seed Delivery: Technical Performance and Sustainability of Village-Based Seed Enterprises in Afghanistan

Srinivas, T. and Bishaw, Z. and Rizvi, J. and et al, . (2010) ICARDA'S Approach in Seed Delivery: Technical Performance and Sustainability of Village-Based Seed Enterprises in Afghanistan. Journal of New Seeds, 11 (2). pp. 138-163.

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In the absence of organized formal public or private sector, finding an innovative alternative seed delivery remains a key challenge. ICARDA initiated a novel approach of establishing farmer-led village-based seed enterprises (VBSEs) to ensure rapid access to quality seed of adapted new crop varieties under the Alternative Livelihoods Program (ALP-E) on integrated staple crop development in eastern Afghanistan. This article describes VBSEs, their technical performance, profitability, and impact, and assesses their sustainability as alternative options in Afghanistan. The technical performance of VBSEs showed that they collectively produced 1,060 and 2,170 MT quality seed of wheat, rice, mung bean, and potato in 2006/7 and in 2007/8, respectively. Average purity and germination of seed produced was 98.67 and 93.47%, respectively, in 2006/7 and 98.13 and 91.25% in the same order for 2007/8. It is evident from the profitability analysis of VBSEs' seed operations that all were economically viable by breaking even and covering fixed and variable costs. The net profit from seed business was $315,531 for 15 VBSEs in 2006/7 and it reached $1,311,060 in 2007/8 for 17 VBSEs. For all VBSEs, returns-to-asset ratio showed strong earnings of 3.5% and 4% in 2006/7 and 2007/8, respectively and were lower than an acceptable stress level of 6%. All VBSEs had current ratio above the threshold of one and therefore were not vulnerable to meet short-term debts. The average debt-to-asset ratio of all VBSEs was low (5% in 2006/7 and 1.6% in 2007/8) suggesting their strong borrowing capacity with no financial risk. Similarly, the debt-to-equity ratio indicated that in all cases, the farmers' share of the seed enterprise equity averaged about 5.42% and 1.6% during 2006/7 and 2007/8, respectively. The most progressive and experienced VBSEs are using diversification strategies to increase and stabilize revenues. This provides evidence that quality-seed production at community-level in the form of VBSEs is profitable and an alternative seed-delivery system complementing the formal sector in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Afghanistan, breakeven analysis, impact, liquidity ratios, profitability, village-based seed enterprises
Author Affiliation: Central Tuber Crops Research Institute, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Kerala, India
Subjects: Social Sciences > Agricultural Economics
Crop Improvement > Seed Technology
Divisions: Other Crops
Depositing User: Mr Siva Shankar
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2013 06:31
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2013 06:31
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15228861003754156
URI: http://eprints.icrisat.ac.in/id/eprint/9602

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