Adoption patterns and performance of improved maize in Kenya.
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Patterns of adoption of improved maize varieties in Kenya (in 1992 and over the period 1961-92) were analyzed by agroecological zone and farmer group, using a qualitative response model (logit model) to test hypotheses about several determinants of adoption, and implications are drawn for wider adoption. Adoption was greater and more rapid in high-potential zones compared with the semiarid zone and lowland tropics. Farmers also adopted hybrid maize more rapidly than improved open-pollinated varieties (OPVs). Larger gains in yield and better postharvest qualities are needed for improved OPVs to replace local cultivars in the low-potential areas. Investment in improving seed distribution, extension, and the physical infrastructure in low-potential areas is crucial for wider adoption of improved maize seed technology; seed pricing policies also need to reflect the differential gains from different kinds of improved seed. Increased use of fertilizers in the high-potential areas could deliver significant gains in maize productivity. Although there is a demand for research to develop hybrids and crop management practices that farmers can use in areas where soil fertility is poor, pricing and marketing policies can also play an important role in addressing the limitations of poor soil fertility by promoting the use of commercial fertilizers. Better education and credit facilities may also lead to increased productivity among smallholders through higher use of commercial fertilizers. Policies and institutional arrangements that would improve the access of younger farmers to land could also promote wider adoption of improved maize