The purpose of this assessment was to identify, analyse and document major policies, laws, regulations, administrative practices, governance and institutional setups that constrained private seed sector investment in Ethiopia and identify evidence based alternative solutions to improve the supply of certified seed to small holder farmers and livelihoods in the country. The study was conducted in 2017 in Oromia, Amhara, SNNPR and Tigray regions. Both primary and secondary data that comprise quantitative and qualitative data sets were used. Primary data collected using on 21 domestic and international private seed companies, 22 Key informant interviews, and 12 focus group discussions were conducted at various levels. The results of the analysis showed that there are problems connected with policy environment, institutional and administrative bottlenecks. Based on the result of the survey, 89.5 and 82.7% of the respondents replied there is inadequate marketing system and inefficient market access, respectively; 84.2% said availability of poor quality of early generation seed (EGS), and 68.4% limited availability of EGS; 71.4% respondents replied there is inadequate government support in terms of finance, and capacity development; 61.9% inadequate access to fertile land and suitable irrigable land. Hence, to improve the private seed sector investment in Ethiopia there is a need to develop a clear policy and directives across the seed value chain. In general, for the private sector to develop in the country there is a need to foster a stepwise reduction of government intervention in private seed production to ensure a level playing field between the public and private sector producers to attract more private companies to the seed sector and expand farmer choice.
Key words: Seed systems, seed policy, early generation seed (EGS) multiplication, seed production, public and private sectors.
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