Adoption of maize production technologies in Western Tanzania uri icon


  • This study of the adoption of maize production technologies in Western 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 into the high rainfall zone and low rainfall zone. A two-stage least squares procedure was used to analyze factors affecting farmers' allocation of land to improved maize varieties and use of inorganic fertilizer across zones. The analysis showed that extension, short-maturing varieties, and rainfall were significant factors affecting the proportion of land allocated to improved maize. Extension increased the probability of allocating land at the means by about 30%. Short-maturing maize varieties increased the probability of allocating land at the means by about 24%. Farmers in the high rainfall zone are 14% less likely to allocate land to improved maize. An increase in the wealth index by one unit increased the probability of using fertilizer by 13%. Research should give priority to developing or screening varieties that yield well and tolerate drought stress and field pests, especially stalk borers. Flexible integrated management packages that combine a drought-tolerant variety with improved cultural practices such as timely planting and weeding can increase yields. More research should be directed to strategies for improving soil fertility and soil conservation, because the use of chemical fertilizer is likely to remain low in the foreseeable future. Extension should direct more effort toward appropriate soil fertility recommendations. An efficient marketing system for inputs and outputs will benefit farmers by paying higher practices for maize and reducing the cost of fertilizer. Studies on the economics of seed and fertilizer use should also be undertaken , especially now that input and output markets have been liberalized. In collaboration with the government and other stakeholders, the formal credit system needs to address the credit problems faced by small-scale farmers

publication date

  • 1998