Identifying socioeconomic constraints to and incentives for faster technology adoption: Pathways to sustainable intensification in eastern and southern Africa

Project code
AUD 3,229,872
Research program manager
Dr Eric Huttner
Project leader
Paswel Marenya - International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
Commissioned organisation
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
JUN 2012
JUL 2016
Project status
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This project studied how socioeconomic factors (including gender), changes in farming systems, climate variability and policies influenced production risks and whether smallholder farmers in Africa adopted technology.

Few studies assess how adopting technology affects livelihoods in Africa. Without understanding the economics of farming decisions under uncertainty, technology scaling out interventions and policy decisions will be made based on incomplete information.

To address this knowledge gap, this project aimed to build on SIMLESA (Sustainable Intensification of Maize-Legume cropping systems for food security in Eastern and Southern Africa), an eight-year food security program supported by ACIAR, to monitor development changes in maize-based farming systems in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique.

The analyses helped researchers to better understand household decisions on technology adoption and resource use. This helped policy makers to reduce risk and vulnerability, increase farm productivity and food security, and enhance development pathways for smallholder producers in the region.

Key partners
Egerton University
Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research
International Food Policy Research Institute
Sokoine University of Agriculture
University of Eduardo Mondlane
University of Life Sciences
University of Malawi
University of Queensland