Front Cover
 Cropping patterns
 Cropping intensity and rotation...
 Planting maize
 Seed varieties and seed protection,...
 Extension information

Title: Maize production patterns in southern Zaire
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00080055/00001
 Material Information
Title: Maize production patterns in southern Zaire
Physical Description: 12 p. : ;
Language: English
Creator: Mwamufiya, Mbuki
Fitch, James B
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
Publisher: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
Place of Publication: México
Publication Date: 1976?
Subject: Corn industry -- Congo (Democratic Republic)   ( nal )
Corn -- Congo (Democratic Republic)   ( nal )
Genre: international intergovernmental publication   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Congo (Democratic Republic)
Bibliography: Bibliography: p. 12.
Statement of Responsibility: Mbuki Mwamufiya and James B. Fitch.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00080055
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 03745709

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
        Page 1
    Cropping patterns
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Cropping intensity and rotation patterns
        Page 4
    Planting maize
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Seed varieties and seed protection, and use of modern inputs
        Page 9
    Extension information
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
Full Text


Mbuki Mwamufiya
James B. itch
James B. Fitch

Dr. Mwamufiya recently received the Ph.D. from Oregon
State University, and Dr. Fitch is Assistant Professor in
the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at
Oregon State University. Support for this research was
received from CIMMYT, the U.S. Agency for International
Development, and the Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station.
Tom Nordblom made useful comments on an early draft. The
authors are particularly indebted to Don Winkelmann for his
continued support and comments. Naturally, responsibility
for any flaws in the final product remains solely with the


Mbuki Mwamufiya

James B. Fitch

For more than a decade, Zaire's maize production has
not increased fast enough to supply rapidly increasing
domestic demand. The result has been a sharp increase
in maize imports, 1/ and this in turn has pinched already
limited sources of foreign exchange.

in an effort to increase understanding of Zaire's
maize production system, this paper focuses on describing
certain maize production practices in the south-central
part of the country. Observations and data presented here
are based on field research undertaken by Mwamufiya in
1974 and 1975, in conjunction with Zaire's national maize
program. 2/ This research included a survey of 299 producers
from four adjacent districts. Three of these districts,
Mwene-Ditu, Gandajika, and Tshilenge, are in the region of
Xasai Oriental, while Kaniama, the fourth, is in the region
of Shaba (Map. 1).

The first part of this paper focuses on describing
overall cropping patterns of farms in the survey area and
shows how maize production fits into this scheme. Maize
planting practices are then described, together with a
description of seed origin, seed protection, and fertili-
zation procedures. Related aspects of labor use and

1/ For details on production and imports since 1950, see
Mwamufiya and Fitch /2/.

2/ Mwamufiya's Ph.D. dissertation /1/ provides a more
complete description of the study and resultant findings.

maize marketing and distribution have been treated in
previous reports / 2,3/.

Cropping Patterns

The study area lies between six and seven degrees
south of the equator. The soils are primarily red, ocre-red,
and yellow latosoils. Shifting cultivation is practiced.
Plots are used for periods of four or five years, according
to farmers and village officials in the area. Then they
are abandoned to fallow for four or more years. In the
more densely populated regions the length of time under
cultivation is increasing and the duration of fallow is
decreasing. 3/

Agriculture in the area depends almost entirely on
natural rainfall, which averages between 1200 and 1600 mm
per year. There are two distinct rainy seasons and two
dry seasons. Heavy rains last from late August through
January, followed by a short dry period of about 15 days.
A second period of rains sets in and lasts until early May,
when a longer dry period begins.

Total area cropped averages only 1.59 hectares per
farm family for the entire crop year, over all districts
surveyed. Farm size and percentage of land area devoted
to each of the seasonal crops in each district are shown
in Table 1. The predominat crops are maize and cassava,
with the latter dominating. Over the entire survey area,
farmers were found to devote about two-thirds more land to
cassava sown alone than to maize alone. However, some of
the cassava reported under pure cassava stands during the
survey period was actually cassava which had been interplanted
with other crops during the preceding crop year. On a
weight basis, the difference between maize and cassava
production is more substantial than indicated by acreage.
Government statistics for the three Kasai Oriental Districts
estimate maize production to have been 28,000 tons during
the 1971-72 and 1972-73 crop years, compared to some
600,000 tons of cassava. Other crops grown in the area
include beans, ground nuts, cotton, and tobacco.

Table 1 shows that inter-cropping is very important in the
survey area. On average, just over 20 percent of the land
area is devoted to inter-crop combinations, and maize is a
component of each of these. Maize sown alone accounts for
some 22 percent. Inter-planting of maize with other crops

3/ Just under 70 percent of the lands cropped in the survey
area are common lands owned by the extended village family
or clan. 22 percent are under government ownership, with
the remainder falling under various categories of private


Table 1. Percent of land devoted to each crop, total area cropped*
in 1974-75, and sample size, by district.

Crop Kaniama Mwene-Ditu Gandajika Tshilenge

Percent of total area in crop

Maize 23.0 20.8 26.1 16.2
Maize-cassava 10.5 6.1 14.8 15.4
Maize-bean 5.5 4.7 1.9 4.8
Maize-cassava-bean 1.7 0.2 0.5 2.3
ground nut 1.0 9.5 2.3 1.0
Cassava 42.5 35.9 32.0 31.2
Cotton 1.8 14 5 13.3 14.4
Tobacco 5.9 0.0 0.0 0.0
Ground nuts 0.4 0.5 6.0 5.7
Beans 0.2 1.4 1.0 3.1
Other crops 7.4 6.4 2.3 6.0
Average total area
cropped (ha) 1.82 1.58 1.64 1.45
Sample size 108 67 68 56

* Includes area cropped during the entire crop year 1974-75, and
often includes acreage from two crops, especially in the case of
maize. In many cases, land devoted to cassava was planted during
the previous crop year.

is common in most parts of Zaire. While a government study
in 1970 indicated that from 80 to 90 percent of the land
planted to maize in the survey area was inter-cropped, 4/
the figures from Table 1 indicate that less than 50 percent
of the area planted to maize was inter-cropped in 1974
and 1975. This suggests that, for the survey area at least,
maize inter-cropping is less important than was previously

/ The Department of Agriculture study /5/ showed that 81
percent of the maize land in the Kabinda sub-region of
Kasai Oriental was inter-cropped in 1970, with the
corresponding figure being 92 percent for the Haut-Lomami
sub-region of Shaba. Since the 1974-75 study described
here did not cover these two regions in their entirety,
however, the figures may not be directly comparable to
results of the present survey.


Two government-sponsored production programs affect cropping
patterns in the survey area. In Kaniama, 29 percent of the
farmers surveyed were enrolled in the TABAZAIRE program,
designed to stimulate the production of tobacco, whereas
23 percent of the farmers in the three Kasai Oriental districts
were enrolled in CAKO, a cotton production program. These
affiliations serve to explain some of the differences in
district cropping patterns shown in Table 1. Participants
in these programs receive advice from extension agents,
access to tractor plowing services for land devoted to
the specialty crop itself, and they can purchase certain
specialized inputs through the administrative agencies.
Association with these programs is known to influence maize
production patterns. Regression analysis described in a
previous report /3/ showed that affiliation with TABAZAIRE
had a significantTy negative impact on the amount of land
which farmers in Kaniama planted to maize.

Cropping Intensity and Rotation Patterns

Ecological conditions permit the planting of two crops
of maize each year throughout the survey region. The first
crop is planted with the onset of the first rainy period,
during August, September, or October, depending upon the
particular weather pattern of the district; the second crop
is planted in January or February, to coincide with the second
rainy period.

While 98 percent of the farmers interviewed planted
first-crop maize during 1974-75, only 57 percent reported
that they typically plant a second crop. Planting and
harvesting other crops can interfere with getting a second
crop of maize planted. In Kasai Oriental, there are government
regulations which make the planting of certain acreages of
cotton mandatory. These regulations are rigorously enforced
by officials in Gandajika and Mwene-Ditu, and less than 45
percent of the farmers in these two districts reported that
they plant second crops of maize. The corresponding figures
for Kaniama and Tshilenge --where such regulations did not
exist or were not enforced-- were both above 65 percent.

Table 2 shows that maize is consistently rotated more
with maize itself and cassava than with any other crop.
For farmers under TABAZAIRE program, maize is frequently
planted following a tobacco crop. In the three Kasai
Oriental districts, where CAKO operates and where mandatory
cotton acreages are imposed, maize frequently follows cotton.
Only 12 percent of all farmers surveyed reported planting
maize on plots which had not been cropped the previous

Table 2. Percentage distribution of crops that preceded maize a/
on plots planted in 1974-75, by district.

Crop Kaniama Mwene-Ditu Gandajika Tshilenge

Maize 16.2 12.2 11.7 15.2
Cassava 12.0 13.4 12.6 18.2
Tobacco 16.2b/ 0 0 0
Beans 4.2 2.4 1.9 6.1
Cotton 5.4 17.1c/ 27.2c/ 13.6c/
Maize & beans 12.6 3.7 8.7 4.5
Maize & cassava 9.6 15.9 11.7 7.6
Maize, cassava &
ground nuts 1.8 4.9 2.9 4.5
Maize, cassava &
beans 1.8 1.2 3.9 6.1
Other crops d/ 6.4 10.9 12.6 21.8
No crop on land 13.8 18.3 6.8 3.0

a/ Includes plots interplanted with other crops.
E/ Figure strongly influenced by tobacco growers under TABAZAIRE
c/ Figure heavily influencedby cotton growers under the CAKO program.
7/ Made up of a variety of minor crops and crop groupings, no one
of which accounted for more than 4 percent of the cases reported.

Planting Maize

The timing of planting maize and the way it is planted
in association with other crops can be expected to affect
yields. As noted above, the timing of maize planting is
geared to rainfall patterns. The survey clearly established
that the great majority of farmers plant maize during the
period immediately following the onset of the rainy season
(Table 3).

Table 3. Relationship of maize planting time to the first rainfall,
percent of farmers reporting, by district.

Period of planting Kaniama Mwene-Ditu Gandajika Tshilenge

Before first rains
Immediately after
first rains
Long after the first














As Table 1 demonstrated, maize is interplanted with other
crops about as frequently as it is planted alone. However,
it is not always planted at the same time as the other crops.
Table 4 indicates when maize is planted in a maize-cassava
association. An interdistrict comparison of the responses
shows a contrast between Kaniama on one hand, and Tshilenge,
Gandajika, and Mwene-Ditu, on the other hand. In Kaniama,
53 percent of the farmers plant maize and cassava simultaneously,
but some 48 percent of the farmers in the other three districts
(Kasai Oriental) plant maize more than two weeks before
planting cassava.

Table 4. Timing of maize planting when intercropped with cassava,
percent of respondents reporting by district.

Maize planting time
relative to that of
cassava Kaniama Mwene-Ditu Gandajika Tshilenge

More than 2 weeks
before 6 41 56 45
During 1st and 2nd
week before 22 18 6 13
Simultaneously_ 53 9 0 0
During 1st & 2nd
week after 4 20 15 21
More than 2 weeks
after 3 9 10 17
Don't know/don't plant
both together 12 3 13 4

Similarly, the timing for the insertion of maize in a
maize-bean association (Table 5) shows a contrast between
Kaniama and the Kasai Oriental districts, with 90 percent of
the farmers in Kaniama planting maize and beans
simultaneously. There appears to be no strong pattern in the
Kasai Oriental, although slightly more farmers plant maize
after beans than before.

Table 5. Timing of maize planting where intercropped with beans,
percent of respondents reporting by district.

Maize planting time
relative to that of
beans Kaniama Mwene-Ditu Gandajika Tshilenge

More than 2 weeks
before 1 8 25 8
During 1st & 2nd
week before 0 18 20 26
Simultaneously 90 36 12 21
During 1st & 2nd
week after 3 24 22 28
More than 2 weeks
after 0 6 9 13
Don't know/don't
plant both to-
gether 6 8 12 4

The reasons for the differences between Kaniama and the
other three districts are not fully known. Differences in
the ethnic backgrounds of the inhabitants may provide some
explanation. 5/ The larger areas cropped per farm in
Kaniama apparently place heavier burdens on available labor /3/.
Thus, Kaniama farmers may opt to plant corn simultaneously
with other crops when interplanting, in order to save labor.

Large time lags between initiation and completion of maize
planting, and planting too long after the rains have started,
may have negative effects on yields, due to associated pest
and plant disease problems. Table 6 shows that 80 percent
of the farmers in the three Kasai Oriental districts start
and complete planting within a week's time. On the other hand,
68 percent of the Kaniama farmers take more than a week. The
greater length of time required in Kaniama may also be
associated with the labor constraint cited above.

5/ The three southern Kasai Oriental districts are occupied
mainly by Baluba-Kasai and Bena Kanioka people. Kaniama is
inhabited by a greater mixture of groups, including Baluba-
Kasai, Baluba-Shaba, Kalundwa, Tshokwe, and Karund peoples.


Table 6. Length of maize planting period, percent of farmers
reporting by district.

Number of days be-
tween the first and
last day of planting Kaniama I wene-Ditu Gandajika Tshilenge

1 3 7 36 44 34
4 7 19 38 35 55
8 14 32 14 9 7
15 22 15 2 3 0
23 30 21 4 5 2
Don't know 6 6 4 2

A separate comparison was made between those farmers
operating under the government-sponsored programs for
producing cotton or tobacco and farmers not associated
with these programs. Even where there were no significant
differences in area devoted to maize, farmers under the
government programs were found to finish planting within a
shorter time period. This may have been due to technical
advice about the importance of timeliness in planting which
farmers in the government programs receive. Even though
government tractor services are not provided for maize in
these programs, previous plowing for the specialty crops
also may make the ground quicker and easier to work.

The predominant technique for preparing seedbeds and
tilling soils in maize cultivation entails the use of the
manually-operated hoe. Of the farmers interviewed, 93
percent reported total reliance on hoe cultivation, whereas
5 percent reported the use of a tractor or tractor-hoe
combination. There was no reported use of animal traction
for maize cultivation in the survey area.

Seventeen measurements were taken at random throughout
the survey area, to determine the density of planting. Where
maize is planted alone, seed hills are set an average of
100 cm apart, with 100 cm spacing between rows. For intercropping,
seed holes were typically set at about 160 cm apart, with
row spacing remaining unchanged. Assuming an average of three
plants per hill --which is optimistic, in view of the quality
of most seed-- this would indicate 30,000 plants per ha for
maize planted alone, and 18,750 plants per ha for maize which
is interplanted. These figures compare with the 50,000 plant
per ha density recommended by Programme Nationale Mais /4, p. 317.

Seed Varieties and Seed Protection

Farmers of the study area use a number of seed varieties
which are generally called "local varieties". For the 1974-
1975 season, about 90 percent of the farmers interviewed
planted local varieties of maize and the remaining 10 percent
planted the GPS3 (Gandajika Population Synthetic), GPS4, and
the Salongo variety (Mexican Tuxpeno 1) provided by the
Institute National des Recherches Agronomiques (INERA) and
Programme Nationale Mais (PNM).

Many current local varieties used in the study area
have evolved from improved varieties which were introduced
by the Institut National pour 1'Etude Agronomique du Congo
Belge (INEAC) between 1933 and 1960. The supply of improved
seeds, which declined gradually in the 1960's, has resumed on
a smaller scale through the efforts of INERA and Programme
National Mais. Some farmers of the study area indicated
that they preferred local varieties of maize to the new
varieties provided by INERA and PNM which, according to
these farmers, are less insect resistant in post harvest
storage than local varieties.

Given the heavy reliance on locally grown seed, the
selection, storage, and protection of seed are of great
importance. Just under 80 percent of the farmers interviewed
indicated that they do not select seeds until after harvest.
The common practice is to draw good-looking and apparently
well preserved ears from the family granary. Only rarely are
special provisions made for storing seed maize.

The most typical storage location was reported to be
in the attic of the house; 45 percent of the respondents
reported this practice. Only 17 percent reported storage
by hanging maize in the warmth and smoke above the fireplace,
whereas 35 percent reported the use of separate granaries which
are usually made of mud.

Over 60 percent of the farmers surveyed acknowledged
"heavy" insect damage in storage. Damage results from
excessive moisture in the grain, and from rats and weevils.
Thirty percent of those interviewed reported taking no action
against rats and insects, whereas 35 percent indicated use of
rat traps. Less than two percent reported the use of DDT or

Use of Modern Inputs

The survey disclosed relatively little use of modern
chemical inputs in maize production. As shown in Table 7,
only about 2 percent of the farmers interviewed reported
use of insecticides on maize. An equally low percentage use
chemical fertilizer on their maize.

Table 7. Use of insecticides, chemical fertilizers, and green
manure, percent of farmers reporting by district.

Practice Kaniama Mwene-Ditu Gandajika Tshilenge

Use insecticides on
maize 3 0 2 2
Use chemical fertil-
izer on maize 1 2 6 0
Have experience using
fertilizer on crops
other than maize 38 34 48 29
Bury ashes and grass
for green manure
on maize 54 15 35 15

Fertilizer and insecticides are generally not available
except for the production of cotton and tobacco under the
government programs. And, even for these crops, the supply
of fertilizer is often irregular and unreliable. The survey
indicated that 38 percent of the farmers had used fertilizer
at one time or another on crops other than maize. This included
77 percent of those participating in the government-sponsored
cotton and tobacco programs, compared to only 24 percent
among non-participants. Many farmers do adhere to the
established practice of burying ashes and green grass or weeds
in maize plots as a means of fertilization. Over all
districts, 34 percent of the farmers surveyed followed that

Extension Information

More than half of the farmers interviewed had been
visited by an extension agent (moniteur agricole) in 1973-1974
(Table 8). As would be expected, farmers enrolled in one
of the special government production programs experienced a
much higher incidence of visitation than those not enrolled.
Extension advice is an integral part of these programs.

Table 8 indicates that relatively few farmers received
extension agent advice on maize production. Again, however,
affiliates of the government programs received more advice,
even though these programs emphasize the production of crops
other than maize.


Table 8. Percentage of farmers receiving extension agent visitations
and advice on maize production, 1973-1974, by district and program

Kaniama Mwene-Ditu Gandajika Tshilenge

Received extension
agent visit:
Affiliate of govern-
ment program a/ 77 100 95 85
Non-affiliate 34 38 63 56

Received advice from
agent of maize
Affiliate of govern-
ment program 13 0 26 39
Non-affiliate 8 4 22 7

a/ Enrolled in CAKO or TABAZAIRE.


Farmers in the south-central area of Zaire, surveyed
for this study, practice shifting cultivation. Maize is
second in importance to cassava production, not only in
terms of the total weight of the crop, but also in terms
of area planted. Maize interplanted with other crops
--cassava, beans, and ground nuts-- occupies just about as
much land as does maize planted alone. Nevertheless, this
degree of intercropping appears to be much lower than a
previous study had reported for the area. Over half of
the farmers surveyed reported planting two crops of maize
per year.

A large majority of the farmers interviewed reported
total reliance on hoe cultivation, whereas only a few reported
the use of tractor services, and no use of draft animals was

Very few farmers reported the use of new or improved
maize seed varieties. Rather, the vast majority still secure
seed from their own household stocks of maize, saved from
the previous harvest. Relatively few farmers take special
precautions to protect their seed from moisture, insects, or
other hazards.


Very few farmers reported using chemical fertilizer or
insecticide for their maize crop. The supply of these inputs
in the survey area is quite unreliable.

Many of the farmers surveyed are affiliated with
special government programs to produce tobacco (the TABAZAIRE
program) and cotton (CAKO). On the one hand, these
affiliations appear to reduce farmers' maize production
efforts due to the added labor requirements for the specialty
crop. On the other hand, affiliates do report receiving
more extension agent advice on maize production than non-
affiliates, and they also were found to be more timely in
completing the planting of maize.


1. Mwamufiya, M. "Maize Production and Marketing
in Four Districts of Zaire: An Introductory
Economic Analysis." A thesis presented for the
degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Agricultural
and Resource Economics, Oregon State University,

2. Mwamufiya, Mbuki, and James B. Fitch. "Maize Marketing
and Distribution in Southern Zaire." Centro
International de Mejoramiento de Maiz y Trigo,
Mexico City, 1976.

3. Mwamufiya, Mbuki, and James B. Fitch. "Labor use
Patterns for the Production of Maize in Southern
Zaire." Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de
Maiz y Trigo, Mexico City, 1977.

4. Programme Nationale Mais (PNM). "Rapport Annuel 1972-
1973." Lubumbashi, Zaire, 1972.

5. Republique du Zaire, Department de 1'Agriculture.
"Presentation de Quelques Resultats Preliminaires
du Recensement de 1'Agriculture." Unpublished
report, 1970.



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