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Modeling the adoption and use intensity of improved maize seeds in Benin West-Africa: Double-hurdle approach

F.E. Mahoussi
P.Y. Adegbola
A.K.N. Aoudji
B. Kouton-Bognon
G. Biaou


Improved maize seeds are one of the main factors that can contribute to improving maize productivity. This paper was carried out with the aim of identifying the determinants of adoption and improved maize seeds’ intensity use on households in all areas favourable to maize production in Benin using pooled data on 490 producers.  Descriptive statistics such as mean, standard deviation, percentage, frequency distribution, t and chi-square tests were used to summarize the characteristics of the sampled producers. Cragg's Double Hurdle model was also used to categorize producers who adopted or who did not adopt improved maize seed and those who intensified the use of improved maize seed. The results showed that literacy, easy access to improved seed, specific training received on the use of improved varieties and gender, affected the adoption of improved maize seed while easy access to improved seed, maize yield, relationship with extension services, total household size, age squared, number of experience years in maize production, and distance from the producer to where the seed was purchased had a significant influence on the decision to intensify the use of improved maize seed. The fact that the variable easy access to improved seeds affected not only the adoption of improved seeds but also the intensification of their use, confirmed that access to improved seeds was an indisputable success factor for the intensification of improved seed use. Giving producers the capacity to obtain improved maize seed that was financially and geographically improved was a very important aspect to be considered by policy makers in the definition of agricultural policies. Predisposing factors for access (perception of varieties, attitudes towards the choice of new varieties, knowledge and management of these varieties) and capacity factors for access (income, availability of seeds in the environment, and seed prices) must be considered. The establishment of a wide seed distribution network through government and non-governmental organizations or private actors could, therefore, be important to reduce transaction costs and improve access to improved maize seed, and then increase the rate of adoption and continued use of improved seed.