Diverging quality preferences along the supply chain: implications for variety choice by potato growers in Ethiopia

G.K. Abebe, J. Bijman, S. Pascucci, S.W.F. Omta, A. Tsegaye

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Improving the introduction of new potato varieties requires aligning the preferences of all supply chain actors. In Ethiopia, the majority of ware potato growers source their seed from the informal supply system. Using a case study on specialised seed growers and a survey among ware potato growers and downstream chain actors, we explore the quality attributes that could influence the variety choices of farmers and downstream actors. Especially, we analysed the link between the seed and ware potato supply chains, farmers’ evaluation of local and improved potato varieties, and quality differences between the local and improved varieties. We found that farmers’ variety choices are well-aligned with traders’ preferences but varieties supplied by the specialised seed potato growers are not well accepted by ware potato growers. As a result, ware potato farmers continue to grow local varieties, which are inferior in terms of production-related quality attributes, but superior regarding market-related quality attributes. The results imply that enhancing production-related quality attributes is not enough to induce farmers to accept new potato varieties. We recommend breeding institutes and seed potato growers to put more emphasis on market-related quality attributes to enhance choice alignment in the full potato chain.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQuality and innovation in food chains
Subtitle of host publicationLessons and insights from Africa
EditorsJos Bijman, Verena Bitzer
Place of PublicationWageningen
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers
ISBN (Electronic)9789086868254
ISBN (Print)9789086862801
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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