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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Maize is Life': Malawi's Delayed Green Revolution
Author:Smale, Melinda
Periodical:World Development
Geographic term:Malawi
Subjects:agricultural research
agricultural technology
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
Politics and Government
External link:https://doi.org/10.1016/0305-750X(95)00013-3
Abstract:The contribution of this paper lies principally in complementing previous and current work on the supply of maize technology and technology adoption with a perspective that illuminates the role of institutional factors in shaping the demand for maize seed research in Malawi. The paper argues that although maize in Malawi is of vital significance as a wage good and relative factor endowments have long favoured changes in maize seed technology, the period of technical stagnation was prolonged, in part, because interest groups could not articulate their demand through collective action. Further, State interventions on the behalf of smallholder maize producers were curtailed by Malawi's estate-based development strategy. Difficulties in obtaining suitable germ plasm to use in developing inbred lines also affected the availability of new technology. A number of factors converged during the late 1980s to dramatially alter the rate and direction of technical change in Malawi's maize production. During 1988-1992, the percentage of Malawi's smallholder maize area planted in hybrids rose from 7 percent to 24 percent. Maize hybrids now play a crucial role in national food security. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.