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Tropical and Subtropical Maize in Asia: Production Systems, Constraints, and Research Priorities

  • Agricultural Science
  • Economics
  • Political Science


This book examines future technological and policy prospects for the sustainable intensification of rainfed upland maize production in Asia, and derives R&D priorities for specific maize production environments and markets. Village-level and farmer-group surveys were conducted to characterize upland maize production environments and systems in China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Survey findings, particularly farmer-identified constraints to maize production, complemented with other relevant data, were used in country-level, R&D priority-setting workshops. High on the list of farmer constraints was drought, estimated to affect three production environments that are home to about 48 million rural poor and produce an estimated 16 million tons of maize, and others such as downy mildew, stem borers, soil erosion/landslides, waterlogging, poor agricultural extension/ technology transfer services, and poor access to low-interest credit and markets. Farmers felt that socioeconomic and policy-related constraints impact maize productivity more than technical constraints do. It is important to recognize that technology is not the only key to increasing productivity and bettering the conditions of marginal maize farmers in Asia. There is a growing trend towards commercializing and intensifying maize production that is different from the staple food self-sufficiency paradigm that has been the cornerstone of agricultural policy in most developing countries. Appropriate government policies could help alleviate the adverse consequences of commercialization and promote sustainable intensification of maize production, especially in marginal environments inhabited by resource-poor subsistence farmers

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