PhD defence

Maize yield gaps and their mitigation in Ethiopia: an integrated assessment

PhD candidate Banchayehu BT (Banchayehu) Assefa
Promotor MK (Martin) van Ittersum
Co-promotor dr. P (Pytrik) Reidsma
External copromotor dr. Jordan Chamberlin
Organisation Wageningen University, Plant Production Systems

Tue 14 March 2023 13:30 to 15:00

Venue Omnia
Room Auditorium


Ethiopia has achieved the second highest maize productivity in Africa. However, maize yields are only 20% of the estimated water-limited potential yield. The major aim of the study was to explain actual farmers’ maize yields and maize yield gaps along with the associated technologies and management practices used in maize production in Ethiopia. The study adopted an integrated production-ecological and socio-economic perspective and methodological approach.

First, the thesis provided a national level analysis of maize yield drivers and maize yield gap decomposition into efficiency, resource and technology components. Second, yield response to fertiliser use was estimated and economic attractiveness of fertiliser usage was evaluated at different levels of assumed risk aversion. Third, major technologies and management practices in Ethiopian maize production were described and their association with maize yield and labor productivity was investigated. Fourth, the thesis evaluated the factors that correlate with crop diversity decisions in maize-based systems and assessed the trade-offs between crop diversity and farm outcomes. Research and policy implications were derived from these analyses.