Quality seed is a key input for agriculture, with a direct impact on agricultural production and productivity. Local seed business (LSB) development in Ethiopia is focusing on organizing and supporting groups of farmers to produce and market quality seed of local preferences. The activities of four local seed businesses supported by University of Gondar and other partners are assessed from 2012 till 2018. These LSBs multiply and market improved varieties of potatoes, malt barley, food barley, chick pea, tef and wheat. These LSBs make a significant contribution to local food security by providing options for farmers to select those varieties better suited to their local agro-ecologies and cultural preferences. The aim of this paper is therefore to review the current status, achievements and challenges of local seed business in north western Ethiopia. The major achievements include; production of market-oriented crops, being technically well equipped, producing quality seed, and fulfilling basic infrastructure, professionally organized and increment in member size. The main areas of weakness include; not being autonomous, lacking basic equipment for value addition, weak management capabilities in decision making, weak financial capability among management bodies, lack of commitment of among members, weak linkage among partners and mismatch between seed demand and supply. Generally, the results of this review indicated that local seed businesses are playing a great role in disseminating improved seed in the surrounding villages and contributing their share food security. Therefore, stakeholders support and linkage is crucial in order to tackle the challenges LSBs are facing, make them autonomous in their seed business in the years to come and play a significant role in food security in the areas.
Keywords: Achievements, Challenges, Local Seed Business, Quality seed