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Article

Usage and Impacts of Technologies and Management Practices in Ethiopian Smallholder Maize Production

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Plant Production Systems, Wageningen University, 6700 AK Wageningen, The Netherlands
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International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Addis Ababa P.O. Box 5689, Ethiopia
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International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Nairobi P.O. Box 1041-00621, Kenya
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Emanuele Radicetti
Agriculture 2021, 11(10), 938; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11100938
Received: 6 August 2021 / Revised: 17 September 2021 / Accepted: 22 September 2021 / Published: 28 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Production)
Maize yields can be improved through many individual technologies and management practices, but the full realization of potential benefits is generally understood to require integrated use of complementary practices. We employed two years of survey data and alternative econometric models to better understand the use of individual and bundled packages of technologies and management practices in Ethiopian maize production, i.e., fertilizers, improved varieties, herbicides, pesticides, manure, intercropping, erosion control and crop rotation (the last three labeled integrated management). Although fertilizer and improved varieties were used on 85% of maize fields, with average yields of 3.4 ton/ha, large yield gaps remain. Complementary management practices improved these yields by as much as 22%, although in variable ways. Integrated management contributed to maize yield only when combined with crop protection (herbicides and/or pesticides). Combining manure with fertilizer and improved variety decreased maize yields, possibly due to manure quality and less inorganic fertilizer used on fields that received manure. Packages including crop protection increased labor productivity by 16–70%, while using integrated management decreased labor productivity by almost half. In summary, the combination of management practices did not automatically lead to increased yields, partly related to the conditions under which practices were applied, indicating the need for site-specific research and recommendations for sustainable intensification. View Full-Text
Keywords: crop management; sustainable intensification; maize yield; labor productivity crop management; sustainable intensification; maize yield; labor productivity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Assefa, B.T.; Chamberlin, J.; van Ittersum, M.K.; Reidsma, P. Usage and Impacts of Technologies and Management Practices in Ethiopian Smallholder Maize Production. Agriculture 2021, 11, 938. https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11100938

AMA Style

Assefa BT, Chamberlin J, van Ittersum MK, Reidsma P. Usage and Impacts of Technologies and Management Practices in Ethiopian Smallholder Maize Production. Agriculture. 2021; 11(10):938. https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11100938

Chicago/Turabian Style

Assefa, Banchayehu T., Jordan Chamberlin, Martin K. van Ittersum, and Pytrik Reidsma. 2021. "Usage and Impacts of Technologies and Management Practices in Ethiopian Smallholder Maize Production" Agriculture 11, no. 10: 938. https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11100938

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