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Big Constraints or Small Returns? Explaining Nonadoption of Hybrid Maize in Tanzania

  • Kathage, Jonas
  • Qaim, Matin
  • Kassie, Menale
  • Shiferaw, Bekele A.

Modern technologies are often not widely adopted among smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. Several adoption constraints have been discussed in the literature, including limited access to information. Using survey data from farmers in Tanzania and the average treatment effect framework, we question the hypothesis that limited information is an important constraint for the adoption of hybrid maize technology. While we find an adoption gap from incomplete awareness exposure, this gap is sizeable only in the east of Tanzania, where productivity effects of hybrids are small. In the north, where adoption is much more beneficial, almost all farmers are already aware of hybrids. The results suggest that exposure to a new technology may be a function of expected returns to adoption. We also test for other constraints related to credit and risk, which do not determine adoption significantly. More generally, nonadoption of technologies is not always a sign of constraints but may also indicate low benefits. Some policy implications are discussed.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/144007
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Paper provided by Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development in its series Discussion Papers with number 144007.

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Date of creation: Feb 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ags:gagfdp:144007
Contact details of provider: Postal: Platz der Göttinger Sieben 5, D-37073 Göttingen
Web page: http://www.uni-goettingen.de/globalfood

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  1. Andrew D. Foster & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2010. "Microeconomics of Technology Adoption," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 395-424, 09.
  2. Byerlee, Derek & Heisey, Paul W., 1996. "Past and potential impacts of maize research in sub-Saharan Africa: a critical assessment," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 255-277, July.
  3. Kathage, Jonas & Qaim, Matin & Kassie, Menale & Shiferaw, Bekele A., 2012. "Seed market liberalization, hybrid maize adoption, and impacts on smallholder farmers in Tanzania," Discussion Papers 131756, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
  4. Nassul Ssentamu Kabunga & Thomas Dubois & Matin Qaim, 2012. "Heterogeneous information exposure and technology adoption: the case of tissue culture bananas in Kenya," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 43(5), pages 473-486, 09.
  5. Esther Duflo & Michael Kremer & Jonathan Robinson, 2008. "How High Are Rates of Return to Fertilizer? Evidence from Field Experiments in Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 482-88, May.
  6. Spielman, David J. & Byerlee, Derek & Alemu, Dawit & Kelemework, Dawit, 2010. "Policies to promote cereal intensification in Ethiopia: The search for appropriate public and private roles," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 185-194, June.
  7. Morris, Michael L. & Doss, Cheryl R., 1999. "How Does Gender Affect The Adoption Of Agricultural Innovations? The Case Of Improved Maize Technology In Ghana," 1999 Annual meeting, August 8-11, Nashville, TN 21609, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  8. Ephraim Chirwa, 2005. "Adoption of fertiliser and hybrid seeds by smallholder maize farmers in Southern Malawi," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(1), pages 1-12.
  9. Feleke, Shiferaw & Zegeye, Tesfaye, 2006. "Adoption of improved maize varieties in Southern Ethiopia: Factors and strategy options," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 442-457, October.
  10. Langyintuo, Augustine S. & Mwangi, Wilfred & Diallo, Alpha O. & MacRobert, John & Dixon, John & Bänziger, Marianne, 2010. "Challenges of the maize seed industry in eastern and southern Africa: A compelling case for private-public intervention to promote growth," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 323-331, August.
  11. Esther Duflo & Michael Kremer & Jonathan Robinson, 2009. "Nudging Farmers to Use Fertilizer: Theory and Experimental Evidence from Kenya," NBER Working Papers 15131, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Tavneet Suri, 2011. "Selection and Comparative Advantage in Technology Adoption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(1), pages 159-209, 01.
  13. Noltze, Martin & Schwarze, Stefan & Qaim, Matin, 2012. "Understanding the adoption of system technologies in smallholder agriculture: The system of rice intensification (SRI) in Timor Leste," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 64-73.
  14. Andrew D. Foster & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2010. "Microeconomics of Technology Adoption," Working Papers 984, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  15. Smale, Melinda & Heisey, Paul W & Leathers, Howard D, 1995. "Maize of the Ancestors and Modern Varieties: The Microeconomics of High-Yielding Variety Adoption in Malawi," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 351-68, January.
  16. Nassul S. Kabunga & Thomas Dubois & Matin Qaim, 2012. "Yield Effects of Tissue Culture Bananas in Kenya: Accounting for Selection Bias and the Role of Complementary Inputs," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 444-464, 06.
  17. Doss, Cheryl R., 2003. "Understanding Farm-Level Technology Adoption: Lessons Learned From Cimmyt'S Micro Surveys In Eastern Africa," Economics Working Papers 46552, CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center.
  18. Ira Matuschke & Matin Qaim, 2009. "The impact of social networks on hybrid seed adoption in India," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 40(5), pages 493-505, 09.
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