How to Make The Right Decisions When Buying Seeds.

Farmers need to understand that Agriculture is a business and it should be treated as such. Informed decisions need to be taken.
Before deciding on the variety of seeds to be planted, you have to figure out the type of market you are selling to, is it to the lower class, open market, middle/upper class “shoprite and co”, or a manufacturing company; for example, a Tomato Paste Manufacturing Company. Each category of market has different requirements.

Today we will talk about two broad groups of seed varieties, the open pollinated and the hybrids (F1).
Open pollinated: Basically an open pollinated seed is a seed that you can plant this season and allow to grow to maturity. After which you harvest the seeds from that plant. If you then plant the seeds you harvested in the next season you will get the same plant specie.
They have various advantages such as; adapting well to their locality, relatively cheaper and more affordable.
Although they come with the following disadvantages as well; highly susceptibility to pest and diseases, Produce less yield compared to hybrids.

Hybrids (F1) : A hybrid seed is a seed that has been bred by a seed producer for a very specific trait. Taste, colour, size, resistance to disease, compact plant size etc., are some of the many traits plant breeders are trying to create. Their yields are always uniform, higher and more resistant to pest and diseases. They are generally more expensive than the open pollinated and do not produce seeds that will give same performance next season, so the farmer needs to buy new seeds.
Having this valuable info at hand, a farmer who understands the business of farming would study his market, then decide the type of market he wants to grow for. He would understand that the open market comprises of majorly low class earners, and so would want to conserve cost so that he can manage his profit. Whereas, if he is supplying places like shoprite or manufacturing companies that use his produce as raw materials, like Dangote and other food processing companies, he knows they would pay premium for his products, because of their purchasing power. This information would guide the farmer before he approaches to purchase either quality open pollinated seeds or F1 hybrids.


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