Abstract for: Model-based exploration of strategies for fostering adoption of improved seed in West Africa

Seed of improved varieties and other inputs are imperative to the transformation of the agricultural sector from subsistence farming to small-scale commercial agriculture in developing countries. This paper analyzes the adoption and diffusion process of improved seed by farmers in West Africa. The literature about farmers’ adoption of new agricultural technology is abundant, yet it gives no inte-grated, process-oriented policy perspective that helps designing effective strategies for fostering the adoption of improved seed in West Africa. This paper develops a system dynamics model that integrates the findings from existing studies into a coherent framework. The model analyses the behav-ior patterns that are generated by such structure. With this approach we are able to identify parame-ter constellations that cause observed behavior patterns for different crops in different countries. On this basis we can derive policy implications for supporting adoption for specific crops (such as cotton and maize) and countries (such as Burkina Faso and Ghana) in West Africa.