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Maize Breeding Research In Eastern And Southern Africa: Current Status And Impacts Of Past Investments Made By The Public And Private Sectors, 1966-97


  • Hassan, Rashid M.
  • Mekuria, Mulugetta
  • Mwangi, Wilfred


This report documents the impacts of international maize breeding research in eastern and southern Africa. It draws on information from a comprehensive 1998/99 survey of public and private maize breeding and seed production organizations active in the region. In many countries of eastern and southern Africa, policy reforms introduced in the 1980s and 1990s encouraged private sector participation in the maize seed industry. The private sector now supplies most of the maize seed in the region, spends more on research, and generates a larger number of maize releases than the public sector. Hybrids dominate varietal releases and seed sales, a trend that may negatively affect subsistence-oriented farmers who lack resources to buy fresh seed every season. Although farmers' adoption of improved maize varies throughout the region, it has increased steadily. Survey data show that CIMMYT's maize breeding program has had significant impacts in eastern and southern Africa, especially in recent years. Of the maize varieties released in the region since 1990, 31% (55% if South Africa is excluded) were developed using CIMMYT breeding materials. In 1996, more than 1.6 million hectares in eastern and southern Africa were planted to varieties developed using CIMMYT germplasm. The varietal release data and adoption data indicate growing demand for CIMMYT breeding materials from both public and private breeding programs, as well as growing acceptance by farmers of varieties developed using those materials.

Suggested Citation

  • Hassan, Rashid M. & Mekuria, Mulugetta & Mwangi, Wilfred, 2001. "Maize Breeding Research In Eastern And Southern Africa: Current Status And Impacts Of Past Investments Made By The Public And Private Sectors, 1966-97," Impact Studies 23723, CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:cimmis:23723

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    Cited by:

    1. Smale, Melinda & Byerlee, Derek & Jayne, Thom S., 2011. "Maize Revolutions in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 202592, Egerton University, Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development.
    2. Spielman, David J. & Mekonnen, Dawit Kelemework & Alemu, Dawit, 2012. "Seed, fertilizer, and agricultural extension in Ethiopia," IFPRI book chapters,in: Food and agriculture in Ethiopia: Progress and policy challenges, chapter 4 International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Langyintuo, Augustine S. & Mwangi, Wilfred & Diallo, Alpha O. & MacRobert, John F. & Dixon, John & Banziger, Marianne, 2009. "An analysis of the challenges of the maize seed industry in eastern and southern Africa," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51713, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    4. Melinda Smale & John Olwande, 2014. "Demand for maize hybrids and hybrid change on smallholder farms in Kenya," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 45(4), pages 409-420, July.
    5. Tadele Tefera & Stephen Mugo & Yoseph Beyene, 2016. "Developing and deploying insect resistant maize varieties to reduce pre-and post-harvest food losses in Africa," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 8(1), pages 211-220, February.
    6. Smale, Melinda & Mason, Nicole M., 2013. "Hybrid Seed, Income, and Inequality among Smallholder Maize Farmers in Zambia," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 146929, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.

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