Potential impact of scaling adaptation strategies for drought stress: a case of drought-tolerant maize varieties in Tanzania
Drought-tolerant maize varieties (DTMVs) offer hope as an adaptation strategy for farmers facing increasing frequency of droughts in sub-Saharan Africa. Adoption of these varieties also offers hope to enhance sustainability in the agricultural production system. However, these varieties are not yet widely cultivated, and the potential economic benefits not fully understood. This study examines the scalability of DTMVs in Tanzania under three scenarios: (1) scalability conditional on knowledge of DTMVs; (ii) scalability conditional on (physical) seed availability in addition to awareness; and (iii) scalability conditional on seed affordability in addition to awareness and (physical) seed availability. The study uses household production and consumption data from major regions in Tanzania. The results from the economic surplus model indicate that by 2032, the adoption of DTMVs could generate between US$ 373 million and US$ 499 million in cumulative benefits for both producers and consumers. Such benefits could potentially lift up to 1.6 million people out of poverty by 2032. It is estimated that consumers would get 40% of the benefits and producers 60%, with the largest benefits occurring in the major maize-producing regions of Mbeya, Rukwa, Ruvuma, Mwanza, Arusha, and Kagera. Consumers in Dar es Salaam would also benefit significantly from the price reductions resulting from increased production. The largest returns on investment would occur in Dodoma, Geita, Simiyu, Singida, and Kagera. These findings justify the investment of both public and private funds to support the scaling of DTMVs in Tanzania.