Promoting climate resilient seed varieties: smallholder barriers to adoption and willingness to pay for seed of drought tolerant maize varieties in Uganda (PROMO)

PROMO was a three-year research project implemented by Wageningen University and Research Department of Economics (WUR DEC) in consortium with International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Columbia University and ISSD Plus project. The PROMO project grant work packages assigned to Uganda were worth Euro 221,000. The project was funded by Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and CGIAR between the period 2018 and 2020.

The research project planned to disentangle whether it is heuristics or risks or budget constraint that farmers see as the main reason why they do not invest in hybrid drought tolerant maize varieties. This study investigated two barriers to adoption:

Assumption 1: Farmers are under a lot of stress for survival, and use the pre-attentive decision-making stage to eliminate seed that is perceived expensive (motivation)

Assumption 2: Farmers prefer low yielding varieties with a secure yield rather than investing (a lot of) money in a product of which they are not sure that it yields higher (risk aversion).

Both barriers need different policy solutions with different roles for private sector and public policy makers. If it is a motivational issue, farmers can be persuaded to invest more, while if it is a risk related barrier, it becomes a public good debate about de-risking agriculture and/or subsidizing inputs.