Big Constraints or Small Returns? Explaining Nonadoption of Hybrid Maize in Tanzania

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Abstract

New technologies are often not widely adopted by farmers in Africa. Several adoption constraints have been discussed in the literature, including limited access to information. Using data from maize farmers in Tanzania, we challenge the hypothesis that limited information is an important constraint for hybrid seed adoption. While we find an adoption gap from lack of hybrid awareness, this gap is sizeable only in regions where productivity gains of hybrids are small. Hence, awareness of a new technology may be a function of expected returns. Other constraints related to assets and credit are not significant. We conclude that not adopting a technology is not always a sign of constraints but may also indicate low benefits from its use.

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