Combining innovation and adoption: a double win approach for maize yield gaps mitigation


Farms in major maize growing areas of Ethiopia are heterogeneous in their access to resources, farm management, objectives and geographical location. Therefore, there is not one crop cultivation technology that fits all farms; different technologies are needed depending on farmers’ objectives. Different methods are used to assess these.

Existing databases obtained through the agronomic panel survey (APS) will be used for statistical analyses, comparing yield and other inputs and outputs among technologies. As a next step, input-output relations will be generated using a technical coefficient generator. In this exercise, exploration of alternative crop management options will be done with the help of empirical analyses and models. 

In addition, a participatory on-farm experiment will be conducted on representative farms with different resource endowments. From the packages of maize production technologies, a selected number of crop management practices will be tested in the fields. A target oriented approach will be used to determine the inputs for the field trial.Crop management practices will be evaluated in terms of economic, social and environmental indicators as well as easiness of applicability, local availability and other criteria set by farmers. Based on this evaluation, few better management practices will be re (co) designed  and again tested as well as improved in the field. 

As part of this project, the student focuses on the following topics:

1.     Evaluation of crop management practices using statistical analyses and/or a Technical Coefficient Generator (TCG) 

2.     Testing and improving a selected number of crop management practices 

3.     Analysing farmers’ preferences of technologies

Type of work

A combination of statistical analyses, modelling,  on-farm experiments and analysis of farmers’ preferences 


The research will focus on data and a field trial in two maize producing regions of Ethiopia: the Central Rift Valley and Western Ethiopia, with a support of the Maize and Wheat Improvement (CIMMYT)


We welcome students who have  an interest in modelling and working with farmers. Completion of Quantitative Analysis of Land use Systems and/or Analysis of Sustainability of Farming Systems is required.

Time and Location   

Any time; Wageningen and Ethiopia


Workneh Bekere                                                                       

Pytrik Reidsma                                                                         

Katrien Descheemaeker