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African Successes, Volume IVSustainable Growth$
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Sebastian Edwards, Simon Johnson, and David N. Weil

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226315553

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226315690.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 29 March 2020

The Sahel’s Silent Maize Revolution

The Sahel’s Silent Maize Revolution

Analyzing Maize Productivity in Mali at the Farm Level

Chapter:
(p.111) 3 The Sahel’s Silent Maize Revolution
Source:
African Successes, Volume IV
Author(s):

Jeremy Foltz

Ursula Aldana

Paul Laris

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226315690.003.0005

Since independence a quiet revolution has taken place in maize production in the Sahel with Mali increasing production more than ten-fold and yields going up ~2% a year. This research work uses farm level panel data from southern Mali’s maize growing regions to demonstrate this success in agricultural production and technological change. We analyze the determinants of production to unpack increases in input use from technological change. The estimations show that farmer adoption of increased fertilizer use has driven much of the productivity growth rather than the adoption of improvements in seeds and management. Additionally, we find strong evidence of observed and unobserved heterogeneity, which affects both the choice of fertilizer amounts and the marginal returns to fertilizer use. The results demonstrate the key changes behind this silent maize revolution and point to the importance of taking into account farmer heterogeneity in estimating productivity and returns to fertilizer.

Keywords:   agricultural productivity, green revolution, control function, West Africa, Mali, fertilizer

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