Traditional universities have been involved in seed and variety improvement. In the production of pre-basic and basic seed, especially where varieties in development are concerned there remains to be an important task for these organizations.
In many countries governments saw it as their task to bring improved seed and varieties to the farmers. In many cases this seed was distributed to the farmers at a price below production costs. Gradually such programmes are being replaced by market oriented seed companies.
A first step towards market oriented seed production is the establishment of para-statals. Within the given rules the organization can make the necessary quick and alert management decisions. Savings from profits can be used for reinvestment and funding of future crops.
Seed companies are market oriented. For the user of the seed it is essential that there is sufficient diversity and competition in the supply of seed.