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Title: Factors influencing the growing of gankata and kafwamba as alternative maize varieties to climate change adaptation in Mazabuka district of Zambia
Authors: Keezwa, Moonga Mostie
Keywords: Local Maize (Gankata and kafwamba), Hybrid maize, Climate change, Poverty, Food security, Smallholder farmers.
Issue Date: Aug-2018
Publisher: Mulungushi University
Abstract: Smallholder farmers in Mazabuka district of Southern province of Zambia have been experiencing worsened climate change related shocks especially dry spells or drought, increased incidences of crop pests and diseases in the recent years. Farmers have had to cope with such shocks through the adaptation of local crop varieties in order to remain food secure. The overall objective of the study was to understand farmer perceptions and provide evidence on the role of local maize, particularly Gankata and Kafwamba in climate change impact mitigation among smallholder farmers. The study was conducted in Mazabuka district particularly in chief Mwanachingwala‘s area. Two agricultural camps Munenga and Mwanachingwala were purposively sampled on the basis of a high number of farmers who are still growing local maize varieties. Random samples of fifty farmers were interviewed from each camp in January to March 2018 for the study from a population of five hundred sixteen people. About one third of the sampled farm households in the area grew local maize in addition to hybrids. Land resource is a critical asset in crop production including diversification into non-improved local maize varieties. Local maize constitutes about fifteen percent share of the maize income and its production costs are relatively lower compared to hybrids and improved Open Pollinated maize varieties. Maize sales income was significantly higher giving an estimated K12, 107 annual incomes among farmers who planted local maize in addition to hybrids compared to K3, 668 for those who only grew hybrids. This finding supports the hypothesis that local maize growers have not only diversified maize varieties, but these varieties also provide more resilience to climate change shocks. Majority of the local maize growers have been growing Gankata and Kafwamba for over ten years as opposed to hybrid maize growers have not been continuously planting the same preferred varieties over the years.. Farmers reported that they prefer growing local varieties because of their ability to resist drought stress. The study gives the following recommendations; farmer training in maize seed production methods so as to maintain the purity of local maize varieties and avoid contamination with hybrids, need to improve on the local seed systems and seed banks, farmers sensitization on the importance of local maize in climate change impact mitigation as well as development of policy guidelines pertaining to plant genetic resource conservation in the context of poverty alleviation and climate change mitigation.
Appears in Collections:Agriculture general
Disaster Studies

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