Photo credit: CGIAR
Tanzanian farmer holds drought tolerant maize cob. Photo credit: F. Sipalla/CIMMYT
Exploring farmers’ willingness to pay for drought tolerance in maize in Zimbabwe ?
Adoption of new technologies depends significantly on whether potential users are willing to pay a premium for the associated benefits. The new study explores farmers’ willingness to pay for drought tolerance (DT) in maize, a crop playing a leading role in the food security in southern Africa. Focusing on Zimbabwe, this research aimed at estimating the implicit prices farmers would be ready to pay for this trait compared to other preferred traits, such as, for example, grain yield, cob size, and texture.
Drought is a widespread phenomenon across Africa south of the Sahara with an estimated 22% of mid‐altitude/subtropical and 25% of lowland/tropical maize growing in regions affected annually by seasonal water shortages. Climate change is likely to increase average temperatures by of 2.1 °C in the region, which will lead to even greater water scarcity, particularly in Southern Africa, in the coming decades. Studies have indicated that an increase in temperature of 2 °C would result in grain yields decrease by 13-20%. For every day with temperature about 30 °C yield is reduced by 1% under normal conditions and by 1.7% under drought conditions.
There is evidence that the use of new crop varieties, such a drought tolerant maize, and improved management technics can offset yield losses by up to 40%. While the development of these new varieties and related technologies is laudable, their impact depends very much on the extent to which they are adopted by farmers.
This study was conducted across all geographical districts of Zimbabwe and included 1400 households.
Read the full article: CGIAR