Adoption of maize production technologies in Central Tanzania uri icon

abstract

  • This study of the adoption of maize production technologies in Central 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 grouped by agroecological zone: the lowlands, intermediate zone, and high lands. A two-stage least squares procedure was used to analyze factors affecting farmers' allocation of land to improve maize varieties and use of inorganic fertilizer across zones. Germplasm characteristics, production potential of the area, and extension were the most important factors affecting the amount of land allocated to improved maize and use of inorganic fertilizer. Later maturity in a variety increased the probability that a farmer would plant improved maize by about 22%. Extension increased the probability of allocating land to improved maize by about 14% and increased the probability of using fertilizer by 115%. Several issues require closer attention from research, extension, and policy makers. Research and extension efforts need to be linked and strengthened to increase the flow of information to farmers. In developing improved maize varieties, researchers must consider yield as well as other important traits: drought resistance/tolerance, resistance to storage pests, shelling quality, and taste. For this to occur, farmers must participate in the research process. The formal credit system needs to be altered to address the credit problems faced by small-scale farmers. A more efficient marketing system for inputs and outputs would benefit farmers by providing higher maize prices and reducing fertilizer costs. Such a system would require supporting policies from the government. Studies of the economics of seed and fertilizer use should be undertaken, especially now that input and output markets have been liberalized

publication date

  • 1998