Promoting climate resilient seed varieties: Smallholder barriers to adoption and willingness to pay for seed of drought tolerant maize varieties in Uganda

Promoting climate resilient maize varieties in Uganda

The uptake of certified maize seed by smallholder farmers is persistently low despite the fact that this seed has much higher yield potential and is often more tolerant to drought than the varieties traditionally grown by farmers. This project investigates the main sources of risk for smallholder farmers, and whether offering appropriate insurance products together with maize seed will increase their willingness to pay for drought tolerant maize varieties.

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This project on the Food & Business Knowledge Platform website.


Project leader: Robert Albert Sparrow (Wageningen University & Research)

Consortium partners: Fredrick Bagamba (Makerere University), Astrid Mastenbroek (Wageningen UR Uganda Ltd), Jonathan Hellin (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT))      


The uptake of quality assured maize seed by smallholder farmers is persistently low, this despite the fact that the seed has a much higher yield potential and is often more drought tolerant than the varieties traditionally grown by farmers. Just over 15% of Ugandan farmers buy quality assured maize seed from the formal seed market, the rest rely mostly on home-saved seed and low quality products from the local market. This research project investigates the adoption for drought tolerant maize varieties that have been specifically developed for specific agro-ecological zones in Uganda by CIMMYT and partners and looks into barriers for uptake of advanced seed technology, specifically focussing on downside risk. We assess the inhibiting role of downside risk with regard to productive investments by conducting randomized controlled trials to test the effects of bundling index insurance with drought tolerant maize varieties on willingness-to-pay and uptake of this maize seed.


Project number

W 08.260.305

Main applicant

Dr. R.A. Sparrow

Affiliated with

Wageningen University & Research, Maatschappijwetenschappen, Ontwikkelingseconomie (DEC)

Team members

Dr. F. Bagamba, Dr. H. Greatex, Dr. J. Hellin


01/01/2018 to 31/12/2020

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