and Alfred J. Moshi
Maize and Wheat
Systems for the Poor
Funded by the
Adoption of Maize
Production Technologies in
and Alfred J. Moshi *
Nathaniel Katinila is with ARI Naliendele, Mtwara, Tanzania. Hugo Verkuijl and Wilfred Mwangi are with the
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center and are based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Ponniah
Anandajayasekeram is with the Southern African Centre for Coordination of Agricultural and Natural Resources
Research and Training, Gaborone, Botswana. Alfred J. Moshi is with the Ministry of Agriculture Research and
Training Institute, Ilonga, Kilosa, Tanzania. The views presented in this paper are the authors' and do not
necessarily reflect policies of their respective organizations.
CIMMYT is an internationally funded, nonprofit scientific research and training organization. Headquartered in Mexico,
the Center works with agricultural research institutions worldwide to improve the productivity and sustainability of maize
and wheat systems for poor farmers in developing countries. It is one of 16 similar centers supported by the
Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). The CGIAR comprises over 50 partner countries,
international and regional organizations, and private foundations. It is co-sponsored by the Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank),
the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Financial support for CIMMYT's research agenda currently comes from many sources, including governments and
agencies of Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, France,
Germany, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines,
Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Uruguay, and the USA, along with
(among others) Cornell University, the European Union, the Ford Foundation, Grains Research and Development
Corporation, the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Development Research Centre, International
Fund for Agricultural Development, Kellogg Foundation, Leverhulme Trust, Nippon Foundation, OPEC Fund for
International Development, Rockefeller Foundation, Sasakawa Africa Association, Stanford University, Tropical
Agriculture Research Center (Japan), UNDP, University of Wisconsin, and the World Bank.
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) 1998.
Printed in Mexico.
Correct citation: Katinila, N., H. Verkuijl, W. Mwangi, P. Anandajayasekeram, and A.J. Moshi. 1998. Adoption of
Maize Production Technologies in Southern Tanzania. Mexico, D.F.: International Maize and Wheat Improvement
Center (CIMMYT), the United Republic of Tanzania, and the Southern Africa Centre for Cooperation in Agricultural
Abstract: This report of the adoption of maize production technologies in Southern Tanzania forms part of a larger
study to evaluate the impact of maize research and extension throughout Tanzania over the past 20 years. Using a
structured questionnaire, researchers and extension officers interviewed farmers in June-November 1995. Maize is the
major food and cash crop in the study area. Farmers have easily adopted improved maize technologies that required
little cash (row planting, weeding), but only a few farmers had adopted the more costly technologies such as fertilizer,
herbicide, and disease control measures. Additional efforts by research and extension are important for increasing the
adoption of improved maize technologies. Research should give high priority to developing varieties that yield well,
tolerate drought stress, and resist field pests. More research should be conducted on soil fertility and conservation
practices, because the use of chemical fertilizer is likely to remain low in the foreseeable future. Many respondents in the
sample were unaware of improved maize technologies, especially the use of fertilizers, use of ox-drawn implements,
herbicide use, and disease control measures. Farmers' low rate of contact with the extension service and agricultural
research may be a constraint on the use of these technologies. Communication between farmers, research, and
extension could be improved through on-farm trials and field days. Poor infrastructure and untimely delivery of inputs
were also important constraints on the adoption of improved maize technologies in Southern Tanzania. Policy makers
should support the promotion of an efficient marketing system (especially rural access roads) for outputs and inputs.
Such a system would offer higher maize prices to farmers and reduce the cost of fertilizers. Also, studies on the
economics of fertilizer use should be undertaken, especially now that input and output markets have been liberalized.
Formal credit is not available to farmers, although providing credit to farmers becomes incresaingly important with rising
input prices. The formal credit system needs to address the credit problems faced by small-scale farmers, especially their
lack of knowledge (information) of formal credit systems.
AGROVOC descriptors: Tanzania; maize; Zea mays; varieties; plant production; seed production; seed industry;
production factors; production economics; input output analysis; socioeconomic environment; development
policies; marketing policies; credit policies; demography; land resources; land use; cultivation; cropping patterns;
cropping systems; crop management; mechanization; plant breeding; shelling; plant water relations; drought
resistance; pest resistance; pest control; disease control; inorganic fertilizers; fertilizer application; prices; diffusion
of research; extension activities; economic analysis; economic viability; technology transfer; innovation adoption;
small farms; environments; lowlands; highlands; research projects
Additional keywords: Southern Tanzania; CIMMYT; SACCAR; Ministry of Agriculture, Research, and Training
AGRIS category codes: E16 Production Economics
E14 Development Economics and Policies
Dewey decimal classification: 338.16
T ab les ............................................................................................................................ iv
Figure ....................................................................................................................... iv
Abbreviations and Acronyms................................................................................................. v
Acknowledgments ...................................................................................................... vi
Executive Summary ........................................................................................................ vii
1.0 Introduction ...................................................................................................... 1
1.1 Motivation and Objectives for This Study......................................................................... 1
1.2 T he Study A rea ......................................... .. .. ..................... .. .......... ..... 2
1.3 Sampling and Survey Procedures ........................... .......................................... ...... 4
2.0 Maize Research and Development in Tanzania and the Study Area .............................. 5
2.1 Maize Research in Tanzania ..................................................................................... 5
2.2 The Maize Seed Industry in Tanzania ............................ ...... ................................... 6
2.3 Maize T 1,1,a. c. -, Recommendations .......................................................................... 7
3.0 Demographic and Socioeconomic Characteristics .................................... ............ 10
4.0 Farmers' Maize Production Practices and Adoption of
Recommendations in the Study Area ....................................................................... 11
4.1 Crops and Cropping Systems ........................................................................ .............. 11
4.2 Adoption of Improved Maize .......................... ................................................................ 11
4.3 Maize Crop Management Practices ................................................................ ......... ..... 12
4 .4 M aize M marketing ................................................................................. 15
4 .5 C re d it ............................................................................................................................ 1 5
5.0 Adoption of Recommended Maize Practices .......................................... ............. 16
6.0 Factors Affecting Farmers' Adoption of Maize Technology ..................................... 17
7.0 Conclusions and Recommendations ........................................................................ 18
7.1 Conclusions ................................... ................. ............ 18
7 .2 R ecom m endations ............................................................................... 19
References ............................................................................................................... 20
Table 1. Relative importance of food crops in Southern Tanzania .............................................. 3
Table 2. Relative importance of cash crops in Southern Tanzania .............................................. 3
Table 3. Sam pled villages, Southern Tanzania .............................................................. .... 4
Table 4. Demographic characteristics of sample households, Southern Tanzania .............................. 10
Table 5. Trends in farm size and maize area, Southern Tanzania.................................................... 10
Table 6. Improved maize grown by sample farmers, Southern Tanzania ........................................ 11
Table 7. Total and average area (acres) under improved and local maize,
1974-94, Southern Tanzania ..................... ................... .............. .................... .............. 11
Table 8. Production (90 kg bags/ha) of local and improved maize, Southern Tanzania ................... 12
Table 9. Time of land preparation for maize, Southern Tanzania .............................................. 12
Table 10. Time of maize planting, Southern Tanzania...... ............ ....................... ............ 12
Table 11. Spacing of maize plants by sample farmers, Southern Tanzania ....................................... 13
Table 12. Time of weeding maize, Southern Tanzania ....................................................... 13
Table 13. Maize harvesting and transportation, Southern Tanzania .................................................... 14
Table 14. Maize cropping calendar, Southern Tanzania ....................................................... 15
Table 15. Farmers' criteria for selecting maize seed, Southern Tanzania ........................................ 15
Table 16. Maize sales and consumption, Southern Tanzania, 1974-94 ............................................ 15
Table 17. Farmers' adoption of recommended maize practices, Southern Tanzania ......................... 16
Table 18. Costs of improved maize technologies, Southern Tanzania ............................................. 17
Figure 1. The Southern Zone of Tanzania and villages sampled for the maize impact study .................. 2
Acronyms and Abbreviations
Calcium ammonium nitrate
Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maiz y Trigo
(International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center)
District Agricultural and Livestock Development Officer
Division Extension Officer
Department of Research and Training
Farming systems research
Ilonga Composite White
Meters above sea level
Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives
Maize streak virus
National Maize Research Programme
Open pollinated varieties
Regional Agricultural and Livestock Development Officer
Regional Economic Development Services Office for East and Southern Africa
Regional Integrated Development Programme
Sulfate of ammonia
Southern Africa Centre for Coordination of Agricultural Research
Selian Agricultural Research Institute
Tanzania Seed Company
Tanganyika Farmers' Association
Tanzania maize variety
Ukiriguru Composite A
Ultra Low Volume Applicators
United States Agency for International Development
Village Extension Officer
We gratefully acknowledge the financial, institutional, and logistical support from individuals
and institutions that enabled this study to be conducted, especially the support of the Ministry
of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MAC), SACCAR, and CIMMYT. We thank F.M. Shao
(former Commissioner for Research and Training, MAC), J.K. Ransom (CIMMYT, Nairobi),
T.N. Kirway (Assistant Commissioner, FSR, MAC) and D. Martella (REDSO/ESA), who
rendered assistance on various aspects of the study.
We thank all the RALDOs, DALDOs, DIVEOs, and VEOs who helped during the surveys,
and the farmers who patiently listened and responded to the questions. Special thanks go to
Wzo. Aklilewerk Bekele for typing drafts of this report, to Kelly Cassaday for editing, and to
Miguel Mellado and his team for design and production.
Maize provides 60% of dietary calories and more than 50% of utilizable protein to the Tanzanian population. The
crop is cultivated on an average of two million hectares, which is about 45% of the cultivated area in Tanzania.
Recognizing the importance of the maize crop to the lives of Tanzanians, the government has committed human
and financial resources to developing the industry. A National Maize Research Programme (NMRP) was started in
1974 with the broad objective of developing cultivars suitable for major maize-producing areas. The NMRP and
maize extension services have made a considerable impact in increasing food production.
This report forms part of a larger study to evaluate the impact of maize research and extension in Tanzania over
the past 20 years. The Department of Research and Training (DRT) conducted the study in collaboration with the
Southern Africa Coordination Centre for Agricultural Research (SACCAR) and the International Maize and Wheat
Improvement Center (CIMMYT). To increase data validity and reliability, researchers and experienced extension
officers used a structured questionnaire for interviewing farmers. Interviews were conducted in all seven
agroecological zones of the country between June and November 1995. This report covers survey findings in the
Southern Zone, which includes Mtwara, Lindi, and part of Ruvuma regions.
Household heads in the sample had a mean age of 47 years with an average of five years of formal education.
Sample households had about five family members comprising at least one male, two female adults, and two
children. Land was not a constraint, and the average farm size was 6.5 acres. Livestock ownership was not
common. Hand hoes were the major farm tool.
Maize is the major food and cash crop in the study area. Most farmers (77.1%) intercropped maize with legumes,
although 22.9% grew maize as a single crop. Recommended varieties for the Southern Zone are Ilonga
Composite White (ICW), Tuxpeno, Staha-St, Kito, and Katumani. Most farmers grew CG4141 (61.8%), and
about 36% of the sample farmers grew UCA-St. UCA-St was the preferred variety because of its high yield and
tolerance to maize streak virus (MSV).
Land preparation, which was done mainly by hand hoe, depended on the onset of the rains in each zone. Maize
was most often planted in rows at the recommended spacing. Farmers weeded their maize plots at least twice.
Only 3% of the farmers used inorganic fertilizer. Farmers' main reasons for not using fertilizer were that they had
no need for it (52.6%) and lacked cash to purchase it (21.1%).
About 49% of farmers said their maize was affected by vermin, 30% had problems with cutworms, and 21% said
they had problem with stalk borers. Only 14% of the farmers controlled vermin. Fourteen percent of the farmers
regarded maize streak virus as the most important disease.
Most farmers selected maize seed in their homes (82%), and large cobs with undamaged and mature grain were
the criteria for seed selection.
None of the farmers had obtained credit, and all reported that credit was not available. Farmers regarded
bureaucratic obstacles (37%) and lack of knowledge about credit (14%) as the major constraints to obtaining
credit. Most farmers had received information on improved maize practices such as improved maize seed,
planting method, weeding, pest management, and storage. Less information had been disseminated about
fertilizer, herbicides, ox-drawn implements, and disease control methods. The most important sources of
information on maize practices were research, extension, and other farmers.
Erratic rainfall and declining soil fertility is increasing the risk of maize production in Southern Tanzania. Farmers
easily adopted technologies that required little cash. For example, all sample farmers adopted row planting, mainly
because it was not costly and had the added advantage of simplifying weeding. Most farmers also adopted the
recommended weeding practices. Only a few farmers had adopted the more costly technologies such as fertilizer,
herbicide, and disease control measures.
Large areas of Southern Tanzania are prone to drought that can destroy the maize crop or reduce yields and
increase stalk borer attacks. Research should give high priority to developing or screening varieties that yield well,
tolerate drought stress, and resist field pests. Research to identify measures for ,1. _II i storage pests should
also be undertaken.
Most improved varieties are fertilizer responsive and economic yields are usually obtained after fertilizer
application, but the use of fertilizer is constrained by its high price and unavailability. Policy makers should support
the promotion of an efficient marketing system for outputs and inputs, which would offer higher maize prices to
farmers and reduce the cost of fertilizers. More research should be directed to soil mining, supplementation of
chemical fertilizer with different sources of organic manure, crop residue management, and soil conservation.
Additional soil fertility research will be particularly relevant because the use of chemical fertilizer is likely to remain
low in the foreseeable future because of its rising price. Also, studies on the economics of fertilizer use should be
undertaken, especially now that input and output markets have been liberalized.
Both research and extension are important for adoption of improved maize technologies. Many respondents in
the sample were unaware of improved maize technologies, especially the use of fertilizers, use of ox-drawn
implements, herbicide use, and disease control measures. Farmers' low rate of contact with the extension service
and agricultural research may be a constraint on the use of these technologies. Research and extension must
strengthen the flow of information to farmers. Communication between farmers and extension could be improved
through on-farm trials and field days.
Poor infrastructure and untimely delivery of inputs were also important constraints on the adoption of improved
maize technologies in Southern Tanzania. Investment in infrastructure, especially rural access roads, will enable
inputs to be transported to farmers more efficiently and at lower transport costs, resulting in lower input prices.
Formal credit is not available to farmers. With rising input prices, providing credit to farmers becomes increasingly
important. In collaboration with the government and other stakeholders, the formal credit system needs to address
the credit problems faced by small-scale farmers, especially their lack of knowledge (information) of formal credit
systems. Cumbersome bureaucratic procedures for obtaining credit should be amended. The formation of farmer
credit groups should be encouraged, because lending to groups tends to reduce transactions costs and improve the
rate of loan recovery.
Adoption of Maize Production
Technologies in Southern Tanzania
Nathaniel Katinila, Hugo Verkuijl, Wilfred Mwangi,
Ponniah Anandajayasekeram, and Alfred J. Moshi
1.1 Motivation and Objectives for this Study
Maize is the major cereal consumed in Tanzania. It is estimated that the annual per capital
consumption of maize in Tanzania is 112.5 kg; national maize consumption is estimated to be three
million tons per year. Maize contributes 60% of dietary calories to Tanzanian consumers (FSD 1992,
1996). The cereal also contributes more than 50% of utilizable protein, while beans contribute only
38% (Due 1986). Maize is grown in all 20 regions of Tanzania. The crop is grown on an average of
two million hectares or about 45% of the cultivated area in Tanzania. However, most of the maize is
produced in the Southern Highlands (46%), the Lake zone, and the Northern zone. Dar es Salaam,
Lindi, Singida, Coast, and Kigoma are maize-deficit regions. Dodoma is a surplus region during good
growing years, and in years following a plentiful rainfall the region is the number one supplier of
maize to Dar es Salaam (FSD 1992; Mdadila 1995).
Maize is not only a staple crop in surplus regions but a cash crop as well. For instance, in the Lake
zone, maize competes aggressively with cotton for land, labor, and farmers' cash. Realizing the
importance of the maize crop to lives of Tanzanians, the government has been committing human
and financial resources to develop the industry. Research and extension efforts in maize started in
1960. Breeding efforts in the 1960s resulted in the release of Ukiriguru Composite A (UCA) and
Ilonga Composite White (ICW). Between 1973 and 1975 Tanzania experienced a severe food
shortage because of drought and the "villagization" campaign, which displaced farmers (Maliyamkono
and Bagachwa 1990). The food crisis prompted the nation to launch several campaigns with the
objective of food self-sufficiency, including "agriculture for survival" (kilimo cha kufa na kupona). The
country also initiated a maize project in 1974 with assistance of the U.S. Agency for International
Development (USAID). The project's objective was to promote maize production in pursuit of food
self-sufficiency. The National Maize Research Programme (NMRP) was launched, with the broad
objective of developing cultivars suitable for major maize-producing areas.
The NMRP and maize extension have made a considerable impact in increasing food production. A
study was conducted to evaluate that impact during the past 20 years. Conducted by the Department
of Research and Training (DRT) in collaboration with the Southern Africa Coordination Centre for
Agricultural Research (SACCAR) and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
(CIMMYT), the study included the nation's seven agroecological zones. The study was conducted
between June and November 1995. This report covers survey findings from Southern Tanzania. The
objectives of the survey were to describe the maize farming systems in the Southern Zone, evaluate
the adoption of improved maize production technologies, and, in light of the findings, identify future
themes for research.
1.2 The Study Area
Southern Zone comprises Mtwara and Lindi regions and Tunduru District in Ruvuma region (Figure
1). The zone covers 103,478 km2, including 17,750 km2 for Mtwara, 66,950 km2 for Lindi, and
the remaining 18,778 km2 for Tunduru District. About two million people live in the zone. Mtwara
region has more than 50% of the population, as evidenced by its high population density of 53
persons/km2 compared to 10 persons/km2 for Lindi and Tunduru.
Southern Tanzania is characterized by mixed farming systems whose elements change with variations
in climate and environment. Southern Zone has two main seasons: a humid and hotter wet season
(November-May) and a cooler, less humid dry season (June-October). Mean annual rainfall ranges
from about 800 mm in inland and central areas to 1,200 mm in the hills and plateaux near the
coast. Soils are variable, ranging from the deep, well-drained, but not very fertile sandy soils of the
sedimentary zones to the deep, well-drained, and somewhat more fertile red clay soils of Nachingwea
and Masasi Districts (FSR 1992).
The most important crops grown in this zone are starchy staples (sorghum, maize, rice, cassava, and
millet), leguminous food crops (pigeon peas, cowpeas, fiwi beans, green gram, and bambara nuts),
vegetables and oilseeds groundnutss, sesame, soybeans, sweet potato, onion, and tobacco) and tree
crops (cashews, coconuts, oranges, bananas). Livestock (goats, cattle, sheep, and poultry) are also
part of the farming systems in the zone. The main cash crops, in order of importance, are cashews,
cassava, sesame, maize, coconuts, and groundnuts (Lamboll 1991). Most cultivated area is rainfed. A
number of valley basins periodically experience uncontrolled flooding.
Figure 1. The Southern Zone of Tanzania and villages sampled for the maize impact study.
0 25 50 75 100 Kilometers
Note: Original map produced by Soil Service Mtwara project and Rural
Integrated Project Support programme Naliendele Agricultural Research
Institute PO Box 509 -Mtwara Tanzania, 1998
A study of the farming systems in Southern Zone by the Regional Integrated Development
Programme (RIDEP) in the late 1970s identified 14 "Farming Systems Zones" (FSZs). These zones
were defined according to soil type and rainfall, population distribution, and the relative importance
of major food and cash crops. The survey described in this report concentrated on the West Lindi/
East Nachingwea/Northeast Masasi FSZ, commonly known as FSZ 8 (Figure 1). This FSZ contains
the "maize belt," which produces grain for the whole of the Southern Zone. Elevation in the zone
varies from 400 to 500 meters above sea level (masl).
Farming systems zone 8 is characterized by red clay soils, particularly in the central and northern part
of the zone, and a fairly high population density in relation to Nachingwea, Masasi, and Lindi.
Agricultural potential also appears to be higher than in most other areas, probably because of the
combination of adequate rainfall (900-1,000 mm/yr), fairly fertile soils, and the presence of valleys
watered by streams from the plateaux.
Land is generally available for agriculture, but labor tends to be a limiting factor. The family provides
most of the labor requirements, although if cash is available hired labor may be used for such tasks as
clearing bush and weeding. The availability of agricultural inputs is limited. A small number of hand
tools are used, but these are not always available in the villages. Farmers use small amounts of
fertilizer and improved seed because they lack cash to purchase them or they are not available.
The importance of food and cash crops in the study area is shown in Tables 1 and 2. Maize and
cassava are the main food crops, while sesame, cashews, and groundnuts are the most important
cash crops. Pigeon peas are the main legumes, followed by cowpeas and (of roughly equal
importance) by fiwi, green gram, groundnuts, and bambara nuts.
Table 1. Relative importance of food crops in Southern Table 2. Relative importance of cash crops in Southern
Number of Percentage
farmers of farmers
Rank Crop cultivating cultivating
1 Maize 106 88.0
2 Cassava 90 75.0
3 Pigeon peas 71 59.1
4 Sorghum 63 52.5
5 Rice 35 29.1
6 Bambara nut 20 16.6
7 Green gram 8 6.6
8 Millet 2 1.6
9 Fiwi 1 0.8
Source: FSR (1992).
Number of Percentage
farmers of farmers
Rank Crop cultivating cultivating
1 Sesame 49 40.8
2 Cashew 32 26.6
3 Groundnuts 20 16.6
4 Maize 10 8.3
5 Cassava 9 7.5
6 Rice 3 2.5
7 Onion 3 2.5
8 Sweet potato 1 0.8
9 Banana 1 0.8
10 Coconut 1 0.8
Source: FSR (1992).
1.3 Sampling and Survey Procedures
The number of farmers interviewed in the nationwide survey was determined by the importance of
maize production in a given zone. About 1,000 maize farmers were interviewed nationwide. The
Southern zone was allocated 36 farmers, or approximately 3.6% of the national sample. At the
zonal level two districts were purposively selected based on their importance in maize production. At
the district level, two villages were purposively selected, and in each village a subsample was allocated
proportionally to its population ratio. The distribution of selected villages is shown in Table 3.
In each village, local authorities provided a list of all farmers. This list was arranged serially in a ten-
cell format from the first to the last villager. Respondents were drawn from the list by "systematic
random sampling technique." The population size (sampling frame) was divided by required sample
size so that every kth member was drawn to be included in the sample. In cases where the selected
farmer was not available or absent, the next person on the list was interviewed.
To increase data validity and reliability, farmers were interviewed by researchers and experienced
extension officers using a structured questionnaire developed by a panel of the zonal farming systems
research economists, CIMMYT and SACCAR
economists, and national maize breeders and Table 3. Sampled villages, Southern Tanzania
agronomists. The interviews were conducted
between June and November 1995. To maintain
uniformity, data from all zones were compiled at
Selian Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) and
then sent back to the respective zones for
analysis and completion of the reports.
District Village Population Respondents
Ruangwa Chimbila 348 6
Nandagala 864 12
Nachingwea Marambo 645 10
Chiola 388 8
Total 2,245 36
2.0 Maize Research and Development in Tanzania and the Study Area
2.1 Maize Research in Tanzania
About 85% of the maize produced in Tanzania is grown by peasants whose farms are less than 10
ha. Ten percent of maize production occurs on medium-scale commercial farms (10-100 ha), and the
remaining 5% occurs on large-scale commercial farms (>100 ha). Between 1961-65 and 1985-95,
national maize production is estimated to have grown by 4.6%, of which 2.4% can be attributed to
growth in area and 2.2% to growth in yield. Despite this yield growth, average yields are less than
1.5 t/ha, although grain yields tend to be higher in high-potential areas such as the Southern
Highlands (Moshi et al. 1990).
Maize breeding and agronomy trials have been conducted in Tanzania for more than 20 years. The
improved open pollinated varieties (OPVs) ICW and UCA were developed, tested, and released in the
1960s and are still widely used. During the same period, a few research stations undertook
agronomy research, which later formed the basis for recommendations that were applied to the
In 1974, the NMRP was launched to coordinate maize research and encourage the better utilization
of some resources. The program is responsible for coordinating all phases of maize research, from
varietal development and maize management research on station to verification on farmers' fields.
The NMRP has divided the country into three major agroecological zones for varietal
* The highlands (elevations above 1,500 masl), with a growing period of 6-8 months.
* The intermediate (or midaltitude) zone (900-1,500 masl), which is further subdivided into "wet"
(>1,100 mm rainfall, with a 4-5 month growing period) and "dry" subzones (<1,100 mm
rainfall, with a 3-4 month growing period).
* The lowlands (0-900 masl), with a 3-4 month growing period.
To date, several breeding populations have been developed and are being improved through
recurrent selection for specific traits. Since 1974, two hybrids and six OPVs have been released. In
1976, Tuxpefo was released for the lowland areas. Hybrids H6302 and H614, suitable for the
highlands, were released in 1977 and 1978, respectively. In November 1983, three OPVs were
released: Kito, Kilima, and Staha. Staha is characterized by its tolerance to maize streak virus (MSV)
disease, whereas Kilima was recommended for the midaltitude zone. Kito is an early maturing variety
adapted to both lowland and midaltitude zones. In 1987 two OPVs, TMV1 and TMV2, were
released. TMV1 has white, flinty grain, is streak resistant, and has intermediate maturity. It is
recommended for the lowland and midaltitude zones. TMV2 is also a white flint maize and is
recommended for the high-altitude and high-potential maize-producing areas.
In 1994, the NMRP released versions of Kilima, UCA, Kito, and Katumani that are resistant to MSV:
Kilima-St, UCA-St, Kito-St, and Katumani-St. Around the same time, two foreign seed companies,
Cargill and Pannar, introduced or released seven hybrids for commercial use. For improvement of
husbandry practices, the NMRP conducted off-station agronomy trials that in 1980 resulted in maize
production recommendations specific to 11 regions. The recommendations related to choice of
variety, plant spacing, plant density, fertilizer rate, weeding regime, and pesticide use.
2.2 The Maize Seed Industry in Tanzania
The hybrid CG4141 is multiplied and distributed by Cargill Hybrid Seed Ltd., which is based in
Arusha. About 19% of the farmers in the Southern Zone grew H614, because it is late maturing.
Locally bred cultivars have flint grain and good pounding and storage qualities, and they yield as well
as CG4141. They are marketed mainly by the Tanzania Seed Company (TANSEED), which has not
done well in the newly competitive seed industry. This has contributed to reduced adoption of locally
bred hybrids. Before input markets were liberalized in 1990, locally bred varieties were almost the
only improved maize seed planted in Tanzania.
After market liberalization, private companies not only engaged in seed multiplication but conducted
trials to evaluate the adaptability of imported varieties to the local environment. The varieties deemed
suitable are subsequently released to farmers. CG4141 is competing aggressively with the locally
bred cultivars multiplied and sold by TANSEED. Pannar started producing and marketing maize seed
in 1995. The new companies have recruited chains of stockists who sell their seed in villages and
towns, and TANSEED has followed suit. Farmers have reported that seed sold by private companies
is purer, more uniform, and higher yielding than seed from TANSEED, which has reduced demand
for TANSEED products.
The drawbacks of the new varieties sold by Cargill and Pannar are their high price, poor storability,
poor pounding quality, and unsatisfactory taste. Pounded maize is used to make a local dish prepared
from grain from which the seed coat has been removed (kande). Some farmers also pound their
maize before milling to make a whiter and softer dough (ugali). When pounded, maize seed with a
soft seed coat breaks, and flour losses before milling are greater. This underscores the importance of
the flint trait in farmers' varietal preferences.
The latest development in the maize seed industry is the resumed importation of a once-famous
hybrid, H511, from Kenya, by the Tanganyika Farmers' Association (TFA). H511 yields as well and
matures as early as CG4141; its advantage over CG4141 is its flinty grain. The 1994/95 price for
Cargill maize seed (CG4141) and Pannar seed (PAN 6481) was Tanzanian shillings (Tsh) 650/kg,
while Kilima, a composite, sold at Tsh 450/kg. The high prices of maize seed have forced many
farmers to recycle hybrid seed.
Before market liberalization, quasigovernmental institutions and cooperative unions monopolized
input marketing. These institutions were inefficient in delivering inputs to farmers. They suffered
from chronic liquidity problems, because they depended on borrowing money for buying inputs. This
led to delayed input supply and chronic shortages that served as a disincentive to farmers (Mbiha
1993; Nkonya 1994). Market liberalization has led to a rapid increase in the number of private
businesses that engage in input marketing. Farmers could obtain inputs from village stockists who are
located much closer to them than prior to 1990. Inputs have also become readily available on time in
villages. As expected, the price of inputs has increased sharply, wiping out the shortages that existed
2.3 Maize Technology Recommendations
The choice of maize variety is determined by farmers' objectives, the length of the growing season,
elevation, and rainfall at a given locality. Recommended varieties with their expected yields for the
Southern Zone are ICW (4 t/ha), Staha (4.5 t/ha), Tuxpeno (4 t/ha), Kito (3.5 t/ha), and Katumani
2.3.2 Planting time, method, and spacing
Planting early in the maize growing season has been observed to be the most important single factor
for increased grain yields (Goodbody 1990). With delayed planting, yields are lower and damage by
insects and diseases is greater. Varieties susceptible to maize streak virus (MSV) suffer more when
planted late. In some parts of the study area, however, planting with the first rains poses a high risk
of crop failure because water stress occurs later at the critical flowering stage. In Mtwara and
Nachingwea the recommended planting time is in December-January, depending on rainfall. The
adequate seed depth is 5-7 cm, as deeper planting retards germination. In dry areas, maize seed may
be planted more deeply and then covered with soil.
The best way to get uniform plant stands is to plant in regularly spaced rows and at regular intervals
within the row. The recommended spacing for full-season varieties (H6302, H632, H622, Kilima,
UCA, ICW, Tuxpefo, and Staha) is 75 x 30 cm with one plant per hill, resulting in a plant
population of 44,000 plants/ha. Results from the Maize Research Programme show that in the
Southern Highlands (>1,500 masl) similar yields were produced by planting two seeds per hill at 90 x
50 cm, three plants per hill at 90 x 75 cm, or a single seed per hill at 90 x 25 cm. In the dry,
intermediate altitude areas, similar yields were obtained by planting two seeds per hill at 75 x 60 cm
or one seed per hill at 75 x 30 cm. For short-statured varieties (Kito and Katumani), farmers are
recommended to sow two seed per hills at 75 x 40 cm.
2.3.3 Fertilizer type and timing and method of application
The maize plant has a relatively high demand for nutrients, particularly nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P),
and potassium (K). These nutrients may be obtained through applications of farm yard manure (FYM)
and/or inorganic fertilizer. Fertilizers recommended for Southern Tanzania include urea, calcium
ammonium nitrate (CAN), or sulfate of ammonia (SA). In the high altitude and intermediate high
rainfall zones where moisture is reliable, use of inorganic fertilizer results in greater economic returns.
In the intermediate low rainfall and coastal zones, response to fertilizer depends to a great extent on
sufficient moisture. The recommended fertilizer rate for Southern Tanzania is about 20 kg N/ha and
20 kg P205/ha.
Fertilizer is normally placed 5 cm below the depth of the seed and about 5 cm to the side at the time
of planting. This is accomplished by digging a single hole beside each seed, placing fertilizer in the
hole, and covering it with soil. Alternatively, a continuous furrow is made along the length of the
planting row. Fertilizer is placed in the furrow and covered with soil. The seed is planted on top of
this soil and covered properly.
2.3.4 Weed control
Weed control is important to reduce competition for water, soil nutrients, and light. It is important
that the field should be free of weeds in the first 40 days after germination. Two hand weedings are
recommended at all altitudes. However, the recommended time between the first and second weeding
varies by location. In Southern Tanzania, the first and second weedings should be done at two and
four weeks after planting, respectively.
Weeds may also be controlled by herbicides. Commercial herbicides that will effectively kill broadleaf
weeds and grasses without injuring maize are available. The following herbicides have been
recommended for use in monocropped maize: atrazine (Gesaprim), atrazine and metalachlor
(Primagram), alachlor (Lasso/atrazine), and pendimethalin (Stomp). If maize is intercropped, alachlor
plus linuron (Lasso/Linuron) and metabromuron and metoalachlor (Galex) are recommended.
2.3.5 Pest and disease control
The most important field pests in maize are stalk borers and armyworms. Damage by all stalk borers
is hard to see at first, and by the time a severe attack is noticed, many plants may already have been
killed and many others damaged beyond recovery. The three most economically important stalk
borers in Tanzania are Chilo partellus, Busseola fusca, and Sesamia camistis.
Chilo partellus (the spotted stem borer) is found in the low elevations of Tanzania. A small brown
moth lays eggs on the leaf surface and the small larvae move down into the leaf whorl and feed on
the new leaves. Busseola fusca damage is easier to see. The moths deposit eggs on the outer leaves
on the stem and the larvae bore through the leaf bundle into the stem. When this occurs, holes
appear in a line when the leaf emerges. With S. calamistis (the pink stalk borer), the initial damage is
also not easily detected. This borer causes the same damage as C. partellus and B. fusca,
penetrating into the center of the stalk and destroying the growing point. Stalk borers can be
controlled fairly easily with Endosulfan, Malathion, Sevin, and Sumithion, if these chemicals are
applied at the correct time. When plants have about seven leaves a small amount of dust should be
sprinkled into the leaf whorl. Night dew and rain will wash the chemical down into the plant. About
two weeks after the first dusting, a second application is done. Only in cases of extreme attack is a
third application needed. It is recommended to dust all plants in the field.
Armyworms (Spodoptera exempta) are soft-bodied caterpillars up to 5 cm long, green to almost
black, and marked with two longitudinal greenish stripes. They invade the crop, moving through
vegetation at very high infestation rates. Outbreaks usually occur during the rainy season.
Armyworms can be effectively controlled by aerial spraying. Individual farmers can use hand sprayers
such as knapsack sprayers or ultra low volume applicators (ULVA). Infestations can be controlled with
Malathion, Fenitrothion, Permethrin, Endosulphan, and Cypermethrin.
It is estimated that about 30% of the stored maize in Tanzania is eaten by insects and rodents each
year. Some insects, such as Sitophilus zeamais, are brought to the storage area with the harvested
maize. The most serious insect pests attacking stored maize are weevils, especially Sitophilus spp.
and Tribolium spp., Angoumois moths, and the larger grain borer (Prostephanus truncatus) or
Dumuzi, a storage pest that has recently become very important in Tanzania for the substantial
damage it causes.
Insecticides such as Malathion and Actellic, used as per manufacturer's instructions, may control
maize weevils and moths. The larger grain borer can be controlled with a preformulated mixture of
Permethrin 0.5% and Primiphos methyl 2% (Actellic Super dust) applied at 100 g per 90-100 kg of
grain. If insecticides are not available, shelling of maize grain and storing the grain in airtight
containers such as steel drums or the traditional bin (kilindo) is recommended.
Five major leaf diseases attack maize in Tanzania: common rust (Puccinia sorghi), lowland rust
(Puccinia polysora), Helminthosporium turcicum, Helminthosporium maydis, and MSV. None of
these diseases can be controlled economically by chemical means. Biological control through breeding
for disease resistance or tolerance is the only feasible economic control.
Maize streak is a viral disease transmitted by a small green leafhopper (Cicadulina spp.). If the disease
occurs early in the life of the plant, the plant will be stunted and will not produce a normal ear. Maize
streak is not very common in Southern Tanzania. Chemical control of leafhoppers is not economic,
but maize that is planted early suffers less from MSV because the population of leafhoppers is still
low. The variety Staha is tolerant to MSV, but most other commercial varieties are susceptible.
The three most common cob diseases are caused by Gibberella spp., Fusarium spp., and Diplodia
spp., which attack the grain as well as the cob. Birds, animals, and insects often damage the husks,
and the pathogens enter the cobs as secondary infections. If the maize lodges, the pathogens may be
transmitted from the soil. All diseased cobs should be destroyed at harvest. Diseased plants and husks
should be burned to prevent the pathogens from being carried over to the next year's crop.
2.3.6 Harvesting and storage
Physiological maturity in maize occurs at 35-40% moisture content in the grain. Harvesting of maize
is not so closely tied to a particular time as with other cereals. Generally, it is necessary that the
harvest should coincide with the dry season to avoid the danger of grain rotting, growth of mold, or
germination on the cob. Harvested maize is usually left out for further drying. Maize to be stored
should not contain more than 13% moisture, and farmers are advised to store maize on open cribs or
in sacks. Cribs should not be wider than 1 m, and a depth of 60-100 cm is considered good for
storage on drier cribs. The narrow width helps maize to dry more quickly. This means of storing
maize while it dries helps protect maize from mold. When the maize is dry enough, it may be shelled
and the grain can be stored in sacks or bins.
3.0 Demographic and Socioeconomic Characteristics
Table 4 summarizes the family characteristics of sample households in southern Tanzania. The mean
age of the household head was about 47 years, and the average level of formal education was 4.6
years. The mean amount of adult laborers was three, of which 60% was female labor. About 64% of
sample households hired labor for farm operations.
The average farm size was 6.5 acres, of which 5.5 acres were under cultivation. Table 5 shows
upward trends in total farm size and maize area. In Southern Tanzania land is abundant, and maize
production increases are achieved by bringing more land into production. The major reason that
farmers gave for increasing farm size was higher demand for land (35.7%), while about 21% of the
farmers said they increased their farm size to earn more money. Similar reasons were given for
increasing maize area. Thirty-three percent of the sample farmers said that the demand for land was
higher and 20% said they wanted to earn more money.
A very low livestock population exists in Southern Tanzania. No cattle were found in the sampled
villages. Only five households owned goats, and two farmers owned sheep. The average number of
poultry owned by most of the households was about 12 (N=30). Low livestock populations could be
the result of insufficient pasture, particularly during the dry season. Most cultivated land is used for
cropping and little grazing area is available.
Farmers owned an average of 2.5 cutting implements, such as machetes, knives, sickles, and axes,
which they used for different farm operations. Only hand hoes were used for land preparation, and
on average farmers owned three hand hoes.
Table 4. Demographic characteristics of sample Table 5. Trends in farm size and maize area, Southern
households, Southern Tanzania Tanzania
Southern Zone 1974 1984 1994
(n=36) 1 A 1 oc T)
F i11 (hL I0) 1 64UU 86.2L2
Age of household head (yr) 46.7
Number of male adults 1.2
Number of female adults 1.8
Number of children 2.1
Education of household head (yr) 4.6
a rm11 sI z a\ \I) I I,.JU .LL'f
Maize area (ha) 1.09 1.13 1.31
4.0 Farmers' Maize Production Practices and Adoption of
Recommendations in the Study Area
4.1 Crops and Cropping Systems
Most farmers grew maize as a single crop on their first plot (45%), while 40% grew maize
intercropped with legumes on the first plot. About 10% of farmers grew tubers, and 5% grew orchard
crops. On the second plot, 47% of farmers grew tuber crops, 17.6% grew either sole maize or
sorghum, about 12% raised oil crops, and 5.9% intercropped maize on their second plot.
Maize was intercropped with legumes by 77.1% of the farmers, while 22.9% monocropped maize.
The major reason for intercropping maize was to obtain more money or food (50%); other reasons
were the lack of good quality land (15%o), labor shortages (15%), and crop diversification (15%o).
4.2 Adoption of Improved Maize
4.2.1 Varieties currently grown and seed sources
Most farmers grew UCA-St (56.3%), although about 19% of the sample grew H614. Table 6 lists all
of the improved varieties that farmers said they had grown between 1972 and 1993. Nearly all
(94.7%) farmers said that they used maize seed obtained from previous crops, while the remaining
5.3% obtained seed from their neighbors. A large proportion of farmers recycled hybrid seed
(58.3%), and 25% got improved seed from the Kilimo office. Other sources of improved seed were
the crop society (8.3%) and stockists (8.3%). About 52% of the farmers did not grow the
recommended variety because it was unavailable. Almost half (48.3%) said that they had lost their
seed to drought.
4.2.2 Varietal preference and disadoption
The most preferred variety was UCA-St for about 89% of the sample farmers, while 11% preferred
TMV1. The main reasons for preferring a variety were yield (50%) and availability of the seed
(37.5%). Only one farmer disadopted H614 because its yield was low.
4.2.3 Trends in use of improved and local
Table 7. Total and average area (acres) under improved
Table 7 shows trends for total and average area and local maize, 1974-94, Southern Tanzania
and local maize, 1974-94, Southern Tanzania
under improved and local varieties for 1974-94. Ara u r Aa
Area under Area under
local maize improved maize
Table 6. Improved maize grown by sample farmers, Year Total Mean Total Mean
Southern Tanzania 1974 6.5 3.04 1.00
Variety Percentage of farmers (n=36) 1980 17.0 2.43 4.25 2.13
1985 19.0 2.11 11.50 2.88
H614 18.8 1990 30.5 2.54 24.30 4.04
UCA 6.3 1991 20.5 1.86 29.50 3.69
Katumani 6.3 1992 23.0 2.09 35.30 3.53
TMV1 12.5 1993 25.0 2.08 34.80 3.86
UCA-St 56.3 1994 40.5 2.70 42.30 3.52
Since 1990, larger areas have been planted to improved maize compared to local maize. About 42%
of sample farmers said they would increase the area under local varieties; their reasons for doing so
included higher demand for land (9.8%) and higher income (28.6%). About 54% reported they would
not change the area under local varieties because they would not be able to manage a larger area
(24%), no land was available (19%), and the current area was large enough (10%). Finally, one
farmer would reduce the area, because he was not able to manage a larger area.
About 47% of sampled farmers said they would increase the area under improved varieties to obtain
higher yields and more money. Also, 47% would not change the area currently planted to improved
varieties because of land shortages (18.2%) and higher labor requirements (18.2%). One farmer
would reduce the area sown to improved maize, but gave no reason for this choice.
The production levels of local and improved maize are shown in Table 8. Improved maize yielded
better than local maize.
4.3 Maize Crop Management Practices
4.3.1 Land preparation
Most sample farmers undertake land preparation from mid August to December with the majority
preparing land between September and November (Table 9). Land preparation depends on the onset
of the rains, which usually start in late October. Most land is prepared for maize planting by hand
hoe. Of the sampled farmers, 85.7% used a hand hoe, 8.6% practiced zero tillage, and 5.7% used a
4.3.2 Seedbed type, planting pattern, and spacing
All farmers in the study area used a flat seedbed. Farmers grew maize continuously on the same plot
from a period ranging from 2 to 25 years, with an average of 12 years. Most farmers planted
between the end of October and the end of
December (Table 10). The majority of farmers
(75.6%) chose the planting date to coincide with
the rains, as these farmers depend entirely on
rainfall. Other reasons to plant at that time
Table 8. Production (90 kg bags/ha) of local and
improved maize, Southern Tanzania
Local maize Improved maize
Year Total Average Total Average
1974 25.0 5.0 5.0 5.0
1980 43.0 7.2 12.0 6.0
1985 70.5 10.1 26.5 8.8
1990 29.0 5.8 41.0 10.3
1991 42.5 6.1 73.0 10.4
1992 57.3 8.2 95.7 11.9
1993 67.3 6.7 97.0 12.1
1994 66.0 6.0 98.0 9.8
Table 9. Time of land preparation for maize, Southern
Month Number of farmers Percentage of farmers
August 2 5.5
September 10 27.7
October 13 36.1
November 9 25.0
December 2 5.5
Table 10. Time of maize planting, Southern Tanzania
Month Number of farmers Percentage of farmers
September 1 2.8
October 4 11.1
November 14 38.9
December 14 38.9
January 2 5.6
February 1 2.8
included labor constraints (13%), better yields (5.4%), and avoidance of pests and diseases (5.4%). All
of the sampled farmers planted in rows, largely because this practice made crop management easy (a
reason given by 67% of farmers). Other farmers chose to plant in rows because of the high yield
associated with this practice (14%) and because it was what the extension service advised (8%).
Table 11 shows the plant spacing practiced by sample farmers. The spacing between rows varied
from 60 to 200 cm, and the spacing between hills ranged from 30 to 120 cm. Fifty-five percent of
the sample farmers planted two seeds per hill, 42% planted three seeds per hill, and 3% planted only
one seed per hill.
4.3.3 Fallowing and crop rotation
Only 17% of farmers fallowed their land, mainly to replenish soil fertility. The fallow generally lasted
one to three years. Crops planted immediately after fallow included maize, cassava, and oil crops,
which were selected because they would provide higher yields and incomes. Most farmers (74.1%)
could not fallow their land because land was scarce. About 26% saw no need to fallow land. Only
two respondents had stopped fallowing.
Nineteen percent of the farmers rotated their crops; five farmers planted cassava after maize, and
three planted legumes after maize. The main reason for crop rotation was to take advantage of
fertilizer applied to the previous crop. Most farmers (44%) did not rotate crops because they were not
aware of the benefits of the practice, because they lacked land to do so (36o), or because of disease
and pest cycles (20%).
4.3.4 Fertilizer use and crop residue management
About 6% of the farmers used fertilizer; 3% used organic fertilizer (FYM) and 3% used inorganic
fertilizer (SA). Most farmers said that they did not use fertilizer because they did not need it (52.6%)
or lacked cash to buy it (21.1 %). Crop residues were used as soil amendments by 61% of farmers,
who plowed the residues back into the soil.
Thirty-six percent reported burning crop Table 11. Spacing of maize plants by sample farmers,
residues, and only 3% fed residues to livestock. Southern Tanzania
4.3.5 Weed control
All farmers weeded fields manually with a hand
hoe. No mechanical or chemical weed control
practices were used in the study area. Most
farmers weeded from the first week of November
to the third week of February, although some
weeded between the first week of December and
the second week of January (Table 12). An equal
percentage (44%) of farmers weeded twice and
three times. Only 9% weeded just once; 3%
weeded four times.
100 x 200
90 x 75
90 x 60
90 x 45
90 x 30
60 x 30
Percentage of farmers
Table 12. Time of weeding maize, Southern Tanzania
Month Number of farmers Percentage of farmers
November 5 13.9
December 18 50.0
January 9 25.0
February 4 11.1
4.3.6 Pest and disease control
As mentioned previously, insect pests, including stalk borers, are among the main production
constraints in Tanzania, and several cultural and chemical control measures have been recommended
(Nyambo and Kabissa 1990). About 49% of farmers said their maize was affected by vermin; 30%
reported problems with cutworms, and the remaining 21% reported problems from stalk borers.
Fourteen percent of the farmers controlled pests by scaring vermin or guarding the crop.
Maize streak virus was the most important disease affecting maize in the study area. Katumani was
the most susceptible variety, whereas local varieties were not affected. Farmers seemed to have no
means of controlling MSV.
4.3.7 Harvesting, transportation, and storage of maize
The maize harvest in the study area stretches from the first week of March to the last week of July;
more than half (64%) of the maize is harvested in May and June (Table 13). All maize was harvested
by hand. Farmers picked the maize off of the stalk or cut it with a portion of the stalk and
transported the harvest to the homestead for drying and storage.
As shown in Table 13, head loads were the most common method for transporting harvested maize
from the field to the homestead for postharvest processing and storage. Other farmers used bicycles
and tractors. Wealthy farmers who can afford to hire a tractor mostly used tractors. It is also likely
that the same farmers hire tractors for plowing their fields.
Most farmers (70%) stored maize on cribs, and 10% of the farmers shelled and stored maize in an
airtight container (ngokwe). Other storage methods included putting unhusked maize in a walled
structure (ng'huta). Only 14% of the farmers treated their maize, generally with ash or other local
materials. Only two respondents used chemicals to protect their shelled maize. Thirty-seven percent
of the farmers felt that there was no need to treat harvested maize, while 37% mentioned the
unavailability of pesticides as the reason for not treating seed. About 21% of farmers said they lacked
money to buy pesticides.
4.3.8 Maize cropping calendar Table 13. Maize harvesting and transportation, Southern
The cropping calendar occupies the whole year
(Table 14), starting with land preparation/
planting from the second week of August to
harvesting in the fourth week of July. In many
cases land preparation and planting are done at
the same time. Other cropping activities are
shown in Table 14.
Number of Percentage
farmers of farmers
Month of harvest
March 1 2.8
April 5 13.9
May 13 36.1
June 10 27.8
July 7 18.9
Method of transporting
harvested maize to homestead
Head load 25 73.5
Bicycle 3 8.8
Tractor 6 17.6
4.3.9 Seed selection
About 82% of the farmers selected maize seed in their homes, while the remainder selected seed in
the field. A large cob and undamaged, mature grains were the important criteria for seed selection
4.4 Maize Marketing
Marketing data available from 1985 onwards show that approximately half of the maize produced in
the study area was sold and the rest was left for home consumption. Most sales transactions (46%)
were conducted immediately after harvest. Relatively few (18%) took place prior to the next harvest;
the remainder (36%) occurred between those two times of the year (Table 16). The maize price
immediately after harvest varied from Tsh 1,600 per bag in 1974 to Tsh 3,200 per bag in 1994, but
the number of farmers responding to these questions was very low. Most respondents sold their
produce from their homes, either to traders or consumers within and beyond their villages. Only five
respondents sold their maize in town or nearby trading centers. Both improved and local maize
varieties were sold.
None of the farmers interviewed had ever used credit for maize production. All agreed that credit was
not available. Thirty-seven percent felt that the problem in obtaining credit was the bureaucratic
procedures, while 14% said they simply did not know how to get credit or lacked the required
collateral. The remaining 37% had other reasons for not using credit to grow maize.
Table 14. Maize cropping calendar, Southern Tanzania
Month Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul
Table 15. Farmers' criteria for selecting maize seed, Table 16. Maize sales and consumption, Southern
Southern Tanzania Tanzania, 1974-94
Number of Percentage of
Rank Criterion responses farmers
1 Large cob 31 43.1
2 Undamaged grain 25 34.7
3 Mature grain 16 22.2
Local maize Improved maize Bags
Year (bags) (bags) retained
1974 3 2 2
1980 5 4 4
1985 20 21 20
1990 30 50 75
1991 35 110 90
1992 40 80 110
1993 47 55 155
1994 35 25 145
5.0 Adoption of Recommended Maize Practices
About 75% of farmers had heard about the recommended maize management practices. Their main
sources of information were extension, other farmers, and radio. Adoption of these
recommendations and farmers' sources of information are shown in Table 17.
Table 17. Farmers' adoption of recommended maize practices, Southern Tanzania
Received Reason for Main source
Practice information Adopter Nonadopter not adopting of information
Improved variety 16 14 6 Unavailable, expensive Extension
Planting method 36 22 3 Extension, other
Fertilizer use 2 4 11 Expensive, unavailable, Extension, other
no need farmers
Weed management 12 10 3 Used to own ways Extension, other
Herbicide use 5 0 16 Expensive, unavailable, Extension, radio
Ox-drawn implements 4 0 15 Unavailable, expensive, Extension, radio
not used to practice,
Pest management 10 4 15 Expensive, unavailable, Extension, radio
not used to practice
Disease control 6 0 15 Unavailable, expensive Extension, radio
Storage practices 11 3 12 Chemicals unavailable, Extension, radio,
not used to practice other farmers
6.0 Factors Affecting Farmers' Adoption of Maize Technology
Farmers in Southern Tanzania are interested in improving maize production at all levels by adopting
improved maize production techniques. However, several factors limited their ability to do so.
Most of the farmers reported that unavailability of inputs (Table 17) was a great constraint on
adopting improved maize technologies. Fertilizer, improved maize seed, insecticide, and herbicide are
not available in the Southern Zone. Farmers cannot purchase these inputs if they are not available.
Most inputs must be transported by road to the farmers, and the condition of roads in Southern
Tanzania is poor. When inputs are delivered, they often arrive at the wrong time (farmers need inputs
during the maize selling season).
The cost of technology is another important factor affecting adoption. Farmers easily adopt
practices that require little cash outlay, such as row planting. All farmers surveyed had adopted row
planting, mainly because it was less costly and had the added advantage of simplifying weeding. Most
farmers also weeded maize at the recommended times. More costly technologies, however, such as
fertilizer, herbicide, and disease control measures, were adopted by only a few farmers. Most farmers
said they did not need fertilizer (52.6%) or lacked cash to purchase it (21.1%). Table 18 shows the
costs of technologies along a continuum and the percentage adoption of each technology.
Environmental factors also play a role in the adoption of technology. Maize production in
Southern Tanzania is a risky business because of erratic rainfall. Maize is susceptible to drought, and
the performance of drought-tolerant cultivars such as Staha and Katumani is still poor. Many
respondents in the study area also reported declining soil fertility, which is aggravated by the low rate
at which soil nutrients are replenished. Declining soil fertility results in low maize yields and
discourages farmers from growing maize.
With respect to farmers' sources of Table 18. Costs of improved maize technologies,
S.. _.L. .. __ _. .. --- .._ Southern Tanzania
inlor iiauon abUOUL improve mlaize
technologies, the survey found that many
respondents were unaware of the improved
maize technologies, especially use of fertilizers,
the use of ox-drawn implements, herbicides, and
disease control measures. The extension service
and agricultural research organizations are
charged with extending information about these
technologies, but their low rates of contact with
farmers may constrain the use of these
Cost Technology of adopters
Cheapest Row planting 88
Weed management 76
Improved maize seed 70
Pest management 21
Use of herbicides 0
Ox-drawn implements 0
Most expensive Disease control 0
7.0 Conclusions and Recommendations
The mean age of the household heads in the sample was 47 years; the level of formal education
averaged about five years. Sample households had about five family members, including at least one
male adult, two female adults, and two children. Land was not a constraint, and the average farm size
was 6.5 acres. Livestock ownership was not common. Hand hoes were the major farm tools used.
Maize is the major food and cash crop in the study area. Most farmers (77.1%) intercropped maize
with legumes, and 22.9% grew maize as a single crop. Recommended maize varieties in the
Southern Zone are Ilonga Composite White (ICW), Tuxpelo, Staha-St, Kito, and Katumani. Most
farmers grew CG4141 (61.8%); about 36% of the sampled farmers grew UCA-St. UCA-St was the
preferred variety because of its high yield.
Land preparation, which was mostly done by hand hoes, depended on the onset of the rains. Maize
was mostly planted in rows at the recommended spacing and weeded at least twice. The dates of the
first and second weedings depended on sowing dates and arrival of the rains. Only 3% of farmers
used inorganic fertilizer, largely because farmers felt there was no need for it (52.6%) or because they
lacked cash to purchase this input (21.1%0).
Almost half (49%) of the farmers said their maize was affected by vermin, 30% reported problems
with cutworms, and 21% said they had problems with stalk borers. Only 14% controlled vermin.
Maize streak virus was the most important maize disease for 14% of the farmers.
Most farmers selected maize seed in the home (82%). A large cob and undamaged, mature grain
were the criteria used for seed selection.
No farmer had obtained credit. All reported that credit was unavailable. Bureaucratic obstacles (37%)
and lack of knowledge (14%) were the major constraints on obtaining credit. Most farmers had
received information on practices such as improved maize seed, planting method, weeding, pest
management, and storage. Less information was disseminated about fertilizer, herbicides, ox-drawn
implements, and disease control methods. The important sources of information were research and
extension, and other farmers.
Poor infrastructure and untimely delivery of inputs were important constraints to the adoption of
improved maize technologies in the Southern Zone. Also, erratic rainfall and declining soil fertility
contributed to the risk of maize production in Southern Tanzania. Farmers had easily adopted
technologies that required little cash, such as row planting. This practice was less costly than other
improved management practices and had the added advantage of simplifying weeding. Weeding was
also adopted by most farmers. The more costly technologies, such as fertilizer, herbicides, and
disease control measures, were hardly adopted.
Another important factor in farmers' lack of adoption of improved technologies was that many
respondents simply did not know about them, especially use of fertilizers, use of ox-drawn
implements, herbicides, and disease control measures. The extension service and agricultural
research organization are charged with extending information about these technologies to farmers,
but their low rates of contact with farmers may be a constraint to the use of these technologies.
Both research and extension are important for adoption of improved maize technologies. Efforts
need to be strengthened to increase the flow of information to and from farmers, particularly through
on-farm trials and field days.
More research should be directed to strategies for avoiding soil nutrient mining, supplementation of
chemical fertilizers with different sources of organic manure, crop residue management, and soil
conservation. Additional fertility research will be particularly relevant because use of chemical
fertilizer is likely to remain low in the foreseeable future as fertilizer prices rise further.
Large areas of Southern Tanzania are prone to drought, which can destroy the maize crop or
chronically reduce yields and increase stalk borer attacks. Research should give high priority to
developing or screening varieties that are high yielding and that can tolerate drought stress and field
pests. Research to identify measures for controlling storage pests should also be undertaken.
Most improved varieties are responsive to fertilizer, and farmers usually obtain economic yields with
fertilizer. But use of fertilizer is constrained by its high price and farmers' lack of knowledge about
how to use this input. An efficient marketing system for inputs and outputs will benefit farmers by
paying higher prices for maize and reducing the cost of fertilizer. Investment in infrastructure,
especially rural access roads, will enable inputs to be transported to farmers more efficiently and at
low transport costs, resulting in reduced input prices. Such a system cannot be established without
policy support from the government, however. Studies on the economics of seed and fertilizer use
should also be undertaken, especially now that input and output markets have been liberalized.
Formal credit is not available to maize farmers. With rising input prices, credit becomes increasingly
important for farmers. In collaboration with the government and other stakeholders, the formal credit
system needs to address the credit problems faced by small-scale farmers, especially their lack of
knowledge (information) about formal credit and the bureaucratic procedures for obtaining credit.
The formation of farmer groups should be encouraged, because lending to groups tends to reduce
transactions costs and improve the rate of loan recovery.
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