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Seed fairs were being promoted in Zimbabwe as an alternative seed distribution approach to sustain local input markets. Using data from ICRISAT monitoring surveys of 2005–06 and records maintained by non-governmental organisations, this article reveals that seed fairs were more cost effective in distributing local seed compared to direct distribution of imported seed. The article found that, in order to supply one household with a seed pack, it will cost an agency US$5.18 through seed fair compared to US$8.22 through direct seed distribution. Vouchers redeemable in retail shops are proposed as an incentive for local shops to stock and distribute agricultural inputs.




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