Adoption of maize production technologies in Eastern Tanzania uri icon


  • This study of the adoption of maize production technologies in Eastern 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 lowlands and the intermediate zone). The two-stage least squares analysis showed that the availability of labor, extension intensity, and variety characteristics were significant factors affecting how much land a farmer was likely to allocate to improve maize. Short-maturing and medium-maturing varieties increased the probability of allocating land at the means by about 15% and 21%, respectively. Labor and extension increased the probability of allocating land at the means by about 3% and 22%, respectively. Farmers in the lowlands are less likely (by about 3%) to allocate land to improved maize. An increase in the intensity of extension by one unit increased the probability of using fertilizer by 40%. Research needs to develop maize that yields well and can tolerate moisture stress and field pests, especially stalk borers, and should also develop recommendations for fertilizer levels under various weather and soil conditions. Flexible integrated pest management packages that combine a drought-tolerant variety with improved cultural practices can increase yields. An efficient marketing system for inputs and outputs will benefit farmers by providing higher prices for maize and reducing the cost of fertilizer. Research and extension need to be linked and strengthened to increase the flow of information to farmers. Research and extension should also focus on creating off-farm employment that can generate income to meet farmers' short-term needs. 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 systems

publication date

  • 1998

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