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2014 (Vol. 6, Issue: 1)
Article Information:

Characterization of Maize Producing Households in Southern Zambia

Thomson Kalinda, Gelson Tembo, Elias Kuntashula, Augustine Langyintuo, Wilfred Mwangi and Roberto La Rovere
Corresponding Author:  Thomson Kalinda 

Key words:  Maize, improved varieties, Principal Components Analysis (PCA), technology adoption, wealth index, Zambia,
Vol. 6 , (1): 28-34
Submitted Accepted Published
October 19, 2013 October 30, 2013 January 25, 2014

Maize is an important crop in the livelihood of Zambia’s most vulnerable populations. A huge challenge facing most of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries like Zambia is to increase maize productivity of smallholder farmers, which has remained very low over the past decades. Through various breeding programmes, more than 50 new maize hybrids and open-pollinated varieties have been developed and provided to the farmers through seed companies and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). However, the extent to which such varieties have been adopted remains unknown. The purpose of this study was to characterize the maize producing households and to assess adoption of improved maize varieties. Data were collected from randomly selected households in the maize-producing areas of Monze and Kalomo Districts in southern Zambia. Principal Components Analysis (PCA) on asset ownership was used to generate a wealth index used to rank the survey households. The results confirm that poorly endowed households, most of whom are female-headed, are far less likely to adopt improved varieties than their well-off counterparts. Important maize variety attributes sought by farmers include early maturity (85% of households), tolerance to water stress (83%), yield potential (79%), pest/disease resistance (56%), better processing quality (56%) and cob/grain size (50%). A larger proportion of well endowed households planted improved varieties, compared with their poorly endowed counterparts. These findings suggest that moving the poor households and female-headed households up the wealth ladder poses a considerable challenge and calls for targeting the key factors that could potentially improve their welfare.
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  Cite this Reference:
Thomson Kalinda, Gelson Tembo, Elias Kuntashula, Augustine Langyintuo, Wilfred Mwangi and Roberto La Rovere, 2014. Characterization of Maize Producing Households in Southern Zambia.  Current Research Journal of Social Sciences, 6(1): 28-34.
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ISSN (Online):  2041-3246
ISSN (Print):   2041-3238
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