Livestock related factors and farmers’ choice of maize cultivars in Tanzania

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Sokoine Universitry of Agriculture


Research was undertaken to determine livestock related factors that influence smallholder farmers’ choice of maize cultivars in Hai and Moshi rural Districts. The study employed On-farm mother-baby trial, informal and formal interviews. A total of 150 farm households - both participants and non-participant in mother baby trials were interviewed using structured questionnaire. 17 mother- baby trial participants were purposively selected based on their willingness to participate, access to irrigation water and ability to allocate land for the trial. The mother trial in each site consisted of 12 different improved maize varieties: SITUKA1; KILIMA ST; PAN67; SC627; SC 403; LONGE 6H; LISHE H1; LISHE H2; LISHEK1; SITUKA M1; PAN 6549 and DK8031. Non-participants were randomly selected from village list of farm households. Data were collected in three stages: (i) Agronomic data recording (ii) field farmers’ assessment and focus group discussions (iii) face to face structured interview. Data analysis focused on agronomic performance, descriptive statistics, multinomial logit and logit regression methods. Agronomic results indicated no significant differences for grain yield, biomass yield, plant height, and ears per plant for all the varieties in all locations. However, SC 627 revealed a slightly better performance in terms of grain and biomass yields, suggesting high potential for both food and livestock feed. The most important criteria among farmers in selecting maize varieties were yield, drought tolerance, early maturity, pest resistance, marketability, stover biomass and milling quality. Econometric analyses results indicated that attributes for grain characteristics, education level, livestock number owned, farm size and market related aspects are important variables in influencing maize cultivars choice by farmers. The study concluded that PAN 67 and DK 8031iii were likely to be chosen for household food while SC627 and LISHE H1 were likely to be selected for marketing (for commercialized households) and livestock feed. The most important attributes considered by farmers for selection of maize varieties were drought tolerance, disease resistance, early maturity and milling quality. The study recommends maize breeders incorporate attributes which are valued most by farmers in the crop-livestock farming system.



Smallholder farmers, Hai district, Moshi rural district, Maize cultivars


Sonda G.B(2008).Livestock related factors and farmers’ choice of maize cultivars in Tanzania . Morogoro;Sokoine University of Agriculture.