Zambia’s maize seed industry is one of the strongest in the region, and smallholder farmers grow numerous varieties, with no single variety dominating more than a small share of maize area. Yet, the foremost consumer (purchaser) of maize seed over the past decade has been the Government of Zambia because of the reliance of the seed market on input subsidy programs. The seed market, which is highly competitive, is dominated by a few large companies despite the entry of many enterprises since liberalization. This paper reviews the changing structure of the maize seed industry in Zambia, and presents findings of baseline and key informant interviews, in order to propose elements of a marketing strategy for Provitamin A-rich varieties. We argue for exclusive rights is to preserve product differentiation, and ensure standard seed quality to protect the brand. Risk-sharing arrangements with any company that takes up this product are essential. Building and maintaining a unique brand of Provitamin A-rich maize that clearly distinguishes it from the many varieties that exist on the market will be fundamental to successful diffusion strategies. While inclusion in the subsidy program is one necessary component of a successful strategy, we also recommend that HarvestPlus continue to invest in other development initiatives to create awareness and promote orange maize with the aim of enhancing nutritional status.


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