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Maize revolutions in Sub-Saharan Africa

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  • Smale, Melinda
  • Byerlee, Derek
  • Jayne, Thom

Abstract

There have been numerous episodes of widespread adoption of improved seed and long-term achievements in the development of the maize seed industry in Sub-Saharan Africa. This summary takes a circumspect view of technical change in maize production. Adoption of improved seed has continued to rise gradually, now representing an estimated 44 percent of maize area in Eastern and Southern Africa (outside South Africa), and 60 percent of maize area in West and Central Africa. Use of fertilizer and restorative crop management practices remains relatively low and inefficient. An array of extension models has been tested and a combination of approaches will be needed to reach maize producers in heterogeneous agricultural environments. Yield growth overall has been 1 percent over the past half-century, although this figure masks the high variability in maize yields, as well as improvements in resistance to disease and abiotic pressures that would have caused yield decline in the absence of maize breeding progress. The authors argue that conducive policies are equally, if not more, important for maize productivity in the region than the development of new technology and techniques. Currently popular, voucher-based subsidies can"crowd out"the private sector and could be fiscally unsustainable.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5659.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5659

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Keywords: Crops&Crop Management Systems; Agricultural Research; Food&Beverage Industry; Food Security; Agricultural Knowledge&Information Systems;

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References

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  1. Jacob Ricker-Gilbert & Thomas S. Jayne & Ephraim Chirwa, 2010. "Subsidies and Crowding Out: A Double-Hurdle Model of Fertilizer Demand in Malawi," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(1), pages 26-42.
  2. De Groote, Hugo & Kimenju, Simon Chege & Owuor, George & Wanyama, Japheter, 2006. "Market Liberalization and Agricultural Intensification in Kenya (1992-2002)," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia, International Association of Agricultural Economists 25419, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  3. Chapoto, Antony & Jayne, Thomas S., 2009. "Effects of Maize Marketing and Trade Policy on Price Unpredictability in Zambia," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics 54499, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Smale, Melinda & Olwande, John, 2011. "Is Older Better? Maize Hybrid Change on Household Farms in Kenya," Food Security International Development Working Papers, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics 118474, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  2. Smale, Melinda, 2011. "Does Household Headship Affect Demand for Hybrid Maize Seed in Kenya? An Exploratory Analysis Based on 2010 Survey Data," Food Security International Development Working Papers, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics 118475, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  3. Jeremy D. Foltz & Ursula T. Aldana & Paul Laris, 2012. "The Sahel's Silent Maize Revolution: Analyzing Maize Productivity in Mali at the Farm-level," NBER Working Papers 17801, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Kassie, Girma T. & Abdulai, Awudu & MacRobert, John & Abate, Tsedeke & Shiferaw, Bekele & Tarekegne, Amsal & Maleni, Debrah, 2014. "Willingness to pay for Drought Tolerance (DT) in Maize in Communal Areas of Zimbabwe," 88th Annual Conference, April 9-11, 2014, AgroParisTech, Paris, France, Agricultural Economics Society 169747, Agricultural Economics Society.
  5. Lunduka, Rodney & Fisher, Monica & Snapp, Sieglinde, 2012. "Could farmer interest in a diversity of seed attributes explain adoption plateaus for modern maize varieties in Malawi?," Food Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 504-510.
  6. Sitko, Nicholas J. & Jayne, T.S., 2012. "Why are African commodity exchanges languishing? A case study of the Zambian Agricultural Commodity Exchange," Food Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 275-282.

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