Building a viable maize hybrid value chain in Nepal: recent successes and the road ahead
In Nepal, expanding the production of hybrid maize seed has been prioritized by the government to meet the country’s growing demand for maize grain. Over the past 15 years, Nepal has released seven new hybrid maize varieties, but only two varieties were commercialized until 2019. This article takes a value chain perspective to assess how a hybrid maize seed system can be developed in Nepal. We collected data from 415 maize-growing households, 11 seed producing businesses, 95 seed retailers, 15 service providers, and 21 end-use industries. Findings showed that the seed companies lacked capacity in production, business operations, and marketing while agro-dealers and farmers have depended on imported varieties. Upgrading the chain will require the provision of technical and financial services and a supportive regulatory environment. For seed businesses, this means improved access to parental lines and increased capacity to build demand for new hybrids in a competitive market place.