Seed fairs were being promoted in Zimbabwe as an alternative seed distribution approach to
sustain local input markets. Using data from ICRISAT monitoring surveys of 2005–06 and
records maintained by non-governmental organisations, this article reveals that seed fairs
were more cost effective in distributing local seed compared to direct distribution of imported
seed. The article found that, in order to supply one household with a seed pack, it will cost an
agency US$5.18 through seed fair compared to US$8.22 through direct seed distribution.
Vouchers redeemable in retail shops are proposed as an incentive for local shops to stock
and distribute agricultural inputs.