a1 CSIR-Crops Research Institute, P.O. Box 3785, Kumasi, Ghana
a2 School of Agriculture Policy and Development, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6AR, UK
A study was carried out to identify the factors that contributed to the natural spread and uptake of a rainfed rice variety named Agya Amoah in the Western Region of Ghana after introduction of a small amount (0.5 kg) of seed in 1987 by a small-scale farmer. Fifteen years after its introduction over 73% of rice farmers had grown the variety in the Western Region. Initial awareness of the variety was created by information provided mainly by friends, seeing the variety grown in fields and from relatives. Seed for initial planting of the variety was purchased from other farmers by 67% of farmers, but in the most recent season 77% of farmers used their own saved seed. Annual incremental income per household from the replacement of the previously most widely grown variety with Agya Amoah was estimated to be US $282. The results show that informal systems can result in relatively fast spread and extensive uptake. Local seed systems need to be understood to design appropriate activities that are likely to lead to rapid spread and equitable distribution of introduced varieties, irrespective of characteristics such as wealth and kin.
(Accepted August 14 2007)