Impact of DroughtTEGO® hybrid maize variety on agricultural productivity and poverty alleviation in Kenya


DroughtTEGO® is a drought-tolerant white maize variety developed and deployed by the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) Project. WEMA has developed more than 80 drought-tolerant (climate-smart) maize varieties adapted to the prevailing weather conditions and diseases. Recently a Kenyan researcher named George Marechera of African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), Nairobi, Kenya conduced a study to investigate the impact of DroughtTEGO® maize hybrids on agricultural productivity and poverty reduction among small-scale maize farmers were analyzed using 642 households in Kenya. The Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project coordinated by the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) developed the varieties.

He argued that while on-farm production output and farmers’ testimonies indicate significantly high productivity over other varieties, a rigorous assessment of impacts at household level is missing. He stated that direct comparison of maize income, total household income and poverty indices shows significant differences between adopters and non-adopters. However, he noted that since the observed estimates can be due to differences in both observable and non-observable characteristics between adopters and non-adopters, he cannot have any causal interpretation.

His study, therefore, utilized the counterfactual outcome framework based on propensity score methods (PSM) to control for such differences. His PSM result showed that adoption of DroughtTEGO® maize varieties led to significant increase in maize income by 82%, total income by 75%, and reduced the depth of poverty by 46-point margins. His study therefore recommends formulation and implementation of appropriate policies to improve the adoption of DroughtTEGO® hybrid maize varieties across the country.

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