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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Smale, Melinda & Byerlee, Derek & Jayne, Thom, 2011. "Maize revolutions in Sub-Saharan Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5659, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5659
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    Cited by:

    1. Mkondiwa, Maxwell Gibson, 2015. "Whither Broad or Spatially Specific Fertilizer Recommendations?," Master's Theses 237344, University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics.
    2. Jouzi, Zeynab & Azadi, Hossein & Taheri, Fatemeh & Zarafshani, Kiumars & Gebrehiwot, Kindeya & Van Passel, Steven & Lebailly, Philippe, 2017. "Organic Farming and Small-Scale Farmers: Main Opportunities and Challenges," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 144-154.
    3. Regier, Gregory K & Dalton, Timothy J, 2014. "Labour savings of Roundup Ready maize: Impact on cost and input substitution for South African smallholders," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 9(3), August.
    4. Kassie, Girma T. & Abdulai, Awudu & Greene, William H. & Shiferaw, Bekele & Abate, Tsedeke & Tarekegne, Amsal & Sutcliffe, Chloe, 2017. "Modeling Preference and Willingness to Pay for Drought Tolerance (DT) in Maize in Rural Zimbabwe," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 465-477.
    5. Smale, Melinda & Olwande, John, 2011. "Is Older Better? Maize Hybrid Change on Household Farms in Kenya," Food Security International Development Working Papers 118474, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    6. Jaleta, Moti & Yirga, Chilot & Kassie, Menale & De Groote, Hugo & Shiferaw, Bekele, 2013. "Knowledge, Adoption and Use Intensity of Improved Maize Technologies in Ethiopia," 2013 AAAE Fourth International Conference, September 22-25, 2013, Hammamet, Tunisia 161483, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
    7. Mujawamariya, Gaudiose & D'Haese, Marijke, 2012. "In search for incentives to gum arabic collection and marketing in Senegal: Interlocking gum trade with pre-finances from traders," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 72-82.
    8. Laris, Paul & Foltz, Jeremy D. & Voorhees, Briton, 2015. "Taking from cotton to grow maize: The shifting practices of small-holder farmers in the cotton belt of Mali," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 1-13.
    9. Kassie, Girma Tesfahun & Abdulai, Awudu & MacRobert, John F. & 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 169747, Agricultural Economics Society.
    10. Takeshima, Hiroyuki & Liverpool-Tasie, Lenis Saweda O., 2015. "Fertilizer subsidies, political influence and local food prices in sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Nigeria," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 11-24.
    11. Bignebat, Celine & Piot-Lepetit, Isabelle, 2015. "Transaction costs and the market access in Sub-Saharan Africa: The case of maize," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 211341, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    12. 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, vol. 37(5), pages 504-510.
    13. Jeremy Foltz & Ursula Aldana & Paul Laris, 2014. "The Sahel's Silent Maize Revolution: Analyzing Maize Productivity in Mali at the Farm Level," NBER Chapters,in: African Successes, Volume IV: Sustainable Growth, pages 111-136 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. 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, vol. 37(3), pages 275-282.
    15. Minten, Bart & Tamru, Seneshaw & Engida, Ermias & Kuma, Tadesse, 2013. "Ethiopia’s value chains on the move: The case of teff:," ESSP working papers 52, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    16. 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 118475, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.

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    Keywords

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

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