Adoption of maize production technologies in the Lake Zone of Tanzania uri icon


  • This study of the adoption of maize production technologies in the Lake Zone of Tanzania forms part of a larger study to evaluate the impact of maize research and extension throughout Tanzania over the past 20 years. Using a structured questionnaire, researchers and extension officers interviewed farmers in June-November 1995. Survey data were classified by agroecological zone (the low, intermediate, and high rainfall zones). Major factors affecting the adoption of improved maize practices were technical innovation characteristics and external influences. Tobit analysis showed that education, farmers' experience, farm size, family labor, extension, livestock units, and use of hand hoe were significant factors affecting the proportion of land allocated to improve maize varieties. With respect to adoption of fertilizer, logit analysis showed that the odds of adopting fertilizer increased by a factor of 6.2 if a farmer received and extension visit. The use of improved varieties in the study area was low, especially in the low and intermediate rainfall zones. Suitable maize varieties should be developed for the farmers in the high rainfall zone. Flexible integrated management packages that combine a drought tolerant variety with improved cultural practices to control diseases and pests could increase yields. An efficient marketing system for inputs and outputs would benefit farmers by paying higher prices for maize and reducing the cost of fertilizer. Extension should be strengthened to increase the adoption of fertilizer, and farmers should receive more advice about using organic manure to supplement chemical fertilizer. Extension efforts should also be directed towards promoting the adoption of improved varieties, weeding, and management practices for controlling diseases and field and storage pests. In collaboration with the government and other stakeholders, the formal credit system needs to address the credit problems faced by small-scale farmers, especially their lack of knowledge (information) about formal credit and the bureaucratic procedures that often impede access to credit

publication date

  • 1999