Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

CLTS Working Papers,
Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Centre for Land Tenure Studies

No 4/17: Adoption of Drought Tolerant Maize Varieties under Rainfall Stress in Malawi

Samson P. Katengeza (), Stein T. Holden () and Rodney W. Lunduka
Additional contact information
Samson P. Katengeza: Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Postal: Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Aas, Norway
Stein T. Holden: Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Postal: Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Aas, Norway
Rodney W. Lunduka: CIMMYT- Southern Africa Regional Office (SARO), Postal: PO Box MP 163, Mount Pleasant Harare, Zimbabwe

Abstract: This paper examines adoption of drought tolerant (DT) maize varieties under rainfall stress in Malawi using a Mundlak-Chamberlain panel Probit model with a Control Function approach. DT maize varieties is a promising technology that has the capacity to help smallholder farmers adapt to drought risks. Using a four-round panel data spanning nine years from six districts, results show an increase in adoption from 2% in 2006 to 41% in 2015. The paper finds a positive impact of one year and two years lag of longest early dry spells and two years lag of late dry spells on the likelihood of adoption but a negative impact of one year lag of late dry spell. The positive findings imply that farmers learn from previous exposure to drought and respond by adopting weather riskreducing technologies such as DT maize. Furthermore, the impact of lagged early droughts suggests that farmers show a high preference for early maturing DT maize. However, the conflicting results of late dry spells with one year lag reporting negative and two years lag positive suggest that farmers do not immediately respond to late drought shock by adopting DT maize but rather take time to appreciate the significance of the varieties as a technology that survive better under drought during maize flowering phase. These findings could imply that there is still limited awareness among smallholder farmers in Malawi on the benefits of DT maize. There is a need therefore to improve on good extension messages to allow farmers make better-informed decisions.

Keywords: Drought tolerant (DT) maize; drought exposure; early and late droughts; Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP); Mundlak-Chamberlain; Malawi

JEL-codes: Q12; Q18

20 pages, March 10, 2017

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