Written Paper

Maize revolution in West and Central Africa  [2003]

M.A.B. Fakorede B. Badu-Apraku A.Y. Kamara A. Menkir et al.

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This report presents a collection of articles focusing on different aspects of the maize revolution in West and Central Africa.<B>Maize revolution in West and Central Africa: an overview: </B>This paper shows the outcomes of the West and Central Africa Collaborative Maize Research Network (WECAMAN) which developed and disseminated technologies to farmers to overcome maize production constraints. Findings show that trends in land area under maize, total maize production, and yield per unit land area have shown dramatic increases in most of the WECAMAN member countries.<B>The role of GIS in the development and targeting of maize germplasm to farmers’ needs in West and Central Africa: </B>This paper finds that the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) new stratification scheme provides a robust representation of the geographic distribution of the maize agroecologic zones in WCA. This stratification should greatly aid researchers in assessing research priorities and resource allocation for germplasm development, evaluation, and deployment.<B>The role of legume-maize rotation in sustainable intensified maize-based farming systems in West and Central Africa: </B>This paper finds that legumes have an important role as sequential crops and/or intercrops in sustaining the productivity of maize cropping systems because of their ability to fix low soil fertility (N) biologically.<B>Promoting maize technology transfer in West and Central Africa: a networking approach:
</B>This paper looks at how WECAMAN has facilitated better adoption of technologies by farmers to increase maize production. The strategy includes the commissioning of studies on alternative methods of soil management, development of community seed production schemes, use of farmer participatory methods and the production test plot (PTP) as tools to test and demonstrate new technologies, and strengthening research and extension and farmer linkages.<B>Economic gains from maize varietal research in West and Central Africa: an overview: </B>This study looks at the impacts of research on improved maize varieties. It shows economic gains at various spatial layers; micro, meso, regional and national levels. The paper showed increases in the households’ incomes and empowerment of women when new agricultural maize technologies were adopted to replace the traditional practices. Maize consumers benefited because the rate of increase in the real price of maize was less than that of other staple food crops.<B>The maize-based green revolution in West and Central Africa: an analysis of current initiatives: </B>This paper examines the driving forces behind the emerging revolution and analyses a number of ongoing initiatives that could have direct and/or indirect impact on its success. Initiatives include pricing policy, commercialisation, privatisation, and globalisation. [adapted from authors]