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The Current Status and Constraints of Drought-Tolerant Maize Adoption in Uganda



Hyejin Lee1, *
1 Institute for International Development Cooperation, Konkuk University, Seoul, South Korea


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Creative Commons License
© 2020 Hyejin Lee.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Institute for International Development Cooperation, Konkuk University, Seoul, South Korea; E-mail: hyejinlee@konkuk.ac.kr


Abstract

Agriculture is an economic backbone of many sub-Saharan African countries, including Uganda. However, the country is grappling with slow agricultural development and food insecurity. Concurrently, Uganda faces climatic challenges that likely become further constraints for agricultural production. Maize is one of its major crops and serves as a food and cash crop for smallholders. However, its productivity remains low. To improve maize productivity under increasing temperatures and droughts, drought-tolerant maize (DTM) has been released, but it is not widely adopted.

The objective of this study is, therefore, to review the current situation of DTM adoption in Uganda and identify characteristic differences between adopters and non-adopters and possible constraints for wider adoption. In doing so, available literature, policy documents and relevant reports on the subject were reviewed. The systemic approach was not feasible due to limited availability of reliable sources.

Drought-tolerant maize adopters in Uganda appeared to be better endowed with production resources such as larger farmland, be more informed, educated and experienced, have a larger household, use more inputs more efficiently, earn higher income and harvest better yield. Major constraints to DTM adoption included lack of awareness, limited seed availability and accessibility, complementary input requirement, existing DTM attributes and dubious market quality of seed and fertilizer. These constraints and adoption characteristics seemed intertwined as a virtuous or vicious cycle for DTM adoption.

Although a broad range of DTM adoption constraints is identified at a household, market and national level, DTM can be an effective means to improve maize productivity under climatic challenges in Uganda. To promote its adoption, the government should take more supportive measures and effective strategies for sustainable DTM uptake.

Keywords: Agriculture, Climate change, Drought-tolerant maize, Food security, Sub-saharan africa, Uganda.