Fostering Climate Smartness in Smallholder Farming Systems: Business Promotional Approaches for Improved Maize Varieties in Eastern and Southern Africa

  • Kingstone MujeyiEmail author
  • Angeline Mujeyi
Reference work entry


In the face of increasing risk from climate change, the availability and accessibility of climate smart agricultural technologies to the most vulnerable smallholder farming households is critical for adaptation and resilience. In this regard, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) has been working with many partners in Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) to promote climate smartness in smallholder farming systems by generating, for the farmers, maize varieties that are higher-yielding, drought-tolerant, stress-resilient, and resistant to common pests and diseases. To enhance the faster and wider spread of these improved maize varieties to reach the target beneficiaries (smallholder farm families), CIMMYT adopted a business development approach to promote the scaling up and out of promising drought-tolerant maize (DTM) varieties. This has been achieved through engaging and capacitating seed companies and agro-dealer seed stockists with knowledge on available DTM varieties and their characteristics as well as seed business management and marketing skills. This chapter analyzes trends and tendencies of the DTM variety promotional strategies and highlights key lessons from success factors driving this approach for scaling up to enhance climate smartness of the predominantly smallholder farming systems that characterize African agriculture.


Seed business development Agro-dealers DTM varieties Capacity building 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)Southern Africa Regional Office (SARO)HarareZimbabwe
  2. 2.College of Agricultural Engineering and ScienceDiscipline of Agricultural Economics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg CampusScottvilleSouth Africa

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