In 2006, the Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) project was initiated withthe aim of improving maize germplasm in the drought prone mid-altitude regions ofeastern and southern Africa (ESA). Through this project eight hybrids and four openpollinatedvarieties (OPVs) were developed through multi-location trials under optimal(well fertilized and well-watered conditions), rainfed, low soil nitrogen and manageddrought stress environments. To validate the performance of the new germplasm againstcommercially available germplasm and farmer-preferred varieties, a series of trials wereconducted across 49 farmers’ fields in eight countries in 2010/11 seasons in ESA. Trialswere un-replicated and conducted under farmer management, with farms consideredblocks in a randomized complete-block design. Average trial yields ranged from 0.7 t ha-1 to above 8 t ha-1. Trials were divided into two categories based on yield levels; high yieldingtrials >=3 t ha-1 (n = 30 trials) and low yielding trials < 3 t ha-1 (n = 19 trials). Broad senseheritability of high and low yielding trials was 0.80 and 0.62 to 0.94 and 0.61, respectively,indicating that highly repeatable means can be estimated from un-replicated on-farmtrials in ESA. The best new DTMA hybrids out-yielded the farmers’ own varieties by morethan 35% and 50% under low- and high-yield conditions, respectively, when compared to SC513, the most widely grown commercially hybrid available varieties in southern Africa.
Characterization of Maize Production in Southern Africa: Synthesis of CIMMYT/ DTMA Household Level Farming System Surveys in Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe
This report presents the synthesis of household level surveys in five intervention countries (Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) of the Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) project designed and implemented by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and national research and extension institutions in 13 countries of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). In each of the study countries, two districts were randomly selected provided that the districts fall in predetermined categories (20-40%) of probability of failed season (PFS). A total sample of 1108 households was randomly drawn with sample sizes varying country to country. The report has different sections that focus, in order, on description of the sample households, extent and determinants of poverty and inequality among the sample population, characteristics of maize production, perception and management of drought risk, and determinants of likelihood and intensity of adoption of improved maize varieties.
An Innovation Learning Platform for Drought Tolerant Maize in Malawi: Lessons Learned and the Way Forward
This report focuses on presenting detailed account of the implementation of the approach, the lessons learned, analyzing whether there is enough experience to suggest (or not) extrapolation of the approach to other areas and communities, and the way forward. The report is based on data and information generated from participating farmers and key individuals from important institutional stakeholders.
Socio-economics Working Paper 1.
Agriculture in eastern Africa is predominantly rainfed and maize is a major food crop, primarily produced for home consumption and the market by small-scale family farms. The study characterized farm households in the drought prone maize growing areas of eastern Africa synthesizing data from parallel household surveys in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The study provides a comparative analysis of the farm households’ assets, livelihood strategies and crop management practices, with an emphasis on maize and maize seed. This illustrates how farmers in a similar agro-ecological environment but with different socio-economic and institutional settings have variously adapted to living with drought and how the inherent weather risk co-determines the livelihood portfolio, agricultural intensification incentives and system development pathways. The study thereby illustrates the challenges for agricultural intensification in such drought prone environments and the scope for drought tolerant maize varieties and explores the research and development implications.
The main goal of this study is to characterize maize production, consumption and marketing systems at the household level and to analyze determinants and impacts of past adoption of improved maize varieties and the potential adoption of drought tolerant maize in selected locations. Specific objectives are to:
- Identify farm level constraints hindering access to and uptake of technology.
- Identify farmers’ perceptions of and preferences for maize variety attributes in relation to drought (e.g., yield increments; food security; reduction in hunger months and cash income).
- Characterize maize production practices, farmer access to farm inputs, produce markets, extension, credit, NGOs services and gender mainstreaming.
- Characterize household livelihood strategies, their perception of risks and threats, and coping strategies.