IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Adoption and Use of Improved Maize by Small-Scale Farmers in Southeast Guatemala

Listed author(s):
  • Sain, Gustavo
  • Martinez, Julio
Registered author(s):

    This report is based on a study of the adoption and use of improved open-pollinated varieties and hybrids by small-scale farmers in the Department of Jutiapa, Guatemala. The majority of maize producers in Guatemala are small-scale subsistence farmers. Approximately 60% of the basic grains produced in the country are grown on farms that are too small to satisfy the basic nutritional needs of a typical family (5-6 persons). Increasing yields through the use of new technologies is seen as a critical step to ensuring adequate nutrition and increasing farmer income in the area. The study, conducted in June and July 1991, randomly surveyed 208 farmers in 18 municipalities of Jutiapa, apportioned according to the number of farms in each municipality. There was particular interest in assessing the impact of the Project of Generation and Transfer of Agricultural Technology and Seed Production (PROGETTAPS), which was launched in 1986 by the Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología Agrícolas (ICTA) and the General Directorate of Agricultural Services (DIGESA) with the goal of increasing small-scale farmers access to improved seeds. Study findings reveal a complex pattern of seed use in Jutiapa. Although the farmers there use several types of local and improved maize seed, they seem to prefer and use the local variety known as Arriquin, as well as two improved materials: an open-pollinated variety (B-1) and a hybrid (H-5). The reported forms of acquisition and preferences indicate that most of the farmers use the same material from 1 to 3 sowing seasons. Yield gains and relative prices, two important factors determining the profitability of adoption of new varieties, are adequate. By changing from their local varieties to OPVs and hybrids, farmers most likely can expect yield increases ranging from 35% to 70%. The decision to use improved materials in part or all of the area cropped with maize is associated with a change in the maize cropping system. Results suggest that farmers that sow a plot of maize in monoculture tend to plant the entire area with improved seed, particularly with hybrids. Results also show that the size of the family, taken together with the cropping system, is an important factor influencing the probability of full adoption, particularly of hybrid materials. The findings indicate that the probability of using hybrid materials, either in part or all of a cropped area, increases with farm size. Importantly, results from the estimating model confirmed the trend observed at the aggregate level. PROGETTAPS had a significant impact on the adoption of OPVs in Jutiapa. Farmers that have experience with PROGETTAPS are more likely to adopt OPVs than those who do not have contact with it. Furthermore, the probability of adoption increases with the years of association farmers have had with the program.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in its series Economics Working Papers with number 7687.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 1999
    Handle: RePEc:ags:cimmew:7687
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Apdo. Postal 6-641, 06600 Mexico, D.F.

    Phone: +52(55) 5804-2004
    Fax: +52(55) 5804-7558
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Bellon, Mauricio R & Taylor, J Edward, 1993. ""Folk" Soil Taxonomy and the Partial Adoption of New Seed Varieties," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(4), pages 763-786, July.
    2. Melinda Smale & Richard E. Just & Howard D. Leathers, 1994. "Land Allocation in HYV Adoption Models: An Investigation of Alternative Explanations," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 76(3), pages 535-546.
    3. Feder, Gershon & Just, Richard E & Zilberman, David, 1985. "Adoption of Agricultural Innovations in Developing Countries: A Survey," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 255-298, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:cimmew:7687. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.