Adoption of Climate-Smart Droughttego® Varieties in Kenya
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African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) promotes DroughtTEGO® drought-tolerant maize hybrids developed by Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project in partnership with CIMMYT, Monsanto and five National Agricultural Research Systems for Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, and South Africa to address the impact of drought occasioned by climate change. To determine the level of adoption and use of DroughtTEGO® maize hybrids in Kenya, a survey was conducted involving 642 farming households from six counties. The results indicated a high rate of awareness of at least one of the DroughtTEGO® varieties (61%). The adoption rate stood at 26% with WE1101 maize hybrid being the most widely known and adopted due to its availability and high yields. Expected adoption was calculated at 89% with about 65% new farmers adopting the DroughtTEGO® hybrids. Lack of full information on the productivity, non-availability of the seed when required and the varieties being expensive compared to other locally available varieties were found to be key barriers to its adoption. The econometric results reveal statistical differences between the variables that influence awareness and adoption of DroughtTEGO® hybrid seed. Variables that determined adoption included age of the household head, fellow farmers and demonstration sites as the primary main source of seed information. Other variables were record-keeping, women’s control of household resources, perception of food security, price, and location. Well-thought-out strategies that target these variables can be effective in attracting new adopters. Thus, the study recommends, promotional messages and extension approaches appropriate to both the young and the aged, better seed pricing strategies, women’s control of household resources to be encouraged, and specific locations with low probability of adoption should be given priority. Steps could include the promotion of the varieties through on-farm demonstrations with wider coverage, strengthening of the extension service and allocation of resources for extension activities in Kenya. Other broad recommendations that emanated from the study included timely availability and delivery of quality DroughtTEGO® seed and availability of credit facilities. It is important to investigate the case of adopters who discontinued using these varieties.