Past studies have shown that a promising method of scaling up new technologies in developing countries is through a community-based approach. This paper explores the characteristics of successful community and commercial seed production groups in multiplying and disseminating seed in Timor-Leste. Farmer groups successfully multiplying seed for commercial purposes (commercial seed producers) and at the local level (community seed production groups) showed similar characteristics. Both groups possessed a capacity to manage their operation well with good involvement of their members. Leadership was important, a gender balance within the groups preferable, and good attendance of meetings highly desirable. In the case of the commercial groups selling their seed, trustworthy financial management was also an important characteristic along with them possessing good networking skills so that they linked well with government, other authorities and potential markets. The success of the community and commercial seed producers in meeting their goals was measured in the quality and quantity of seed produced and marketed. In the case of the commercial seed producers, sufficient seed was produced in 2014–15 to replace 75% of the nation’s seed importation requirements.
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