Smallholder Farmers’ resource allocation decisions in a Maize-farming system under climate risks in Malawi

Using household data from Lilongwe districts, along with crop phenology, agronomic management and climatic data from Chitedze Research Station, the Target-MOTAD and DSSAT-CSM models examined the resource allocation decisions of smallholder farmers in maize farming systems under climate risk in Malawi. Specific aims were to evaluate the ability of DSSAT to predict and collate DTM and non-DTM yields under climatic risk and to use a bio-economic procedure developed using DSSAT and Target-MOTAD to explore the impact of climatic risk on allocation of resources to DTM and non-DTM production. The paper argues that higher average yields observed from DTM varieties make it the most optimal maize production plan, in maximizing household incomes, food security, and minimizing deviations from the mean while meeting the set target incomes of farmers compared to non-DTM varieties. The multidisciplinary nature of this paper has contributed to the body of research by providing a powerful analytical procedure of modelling farmers’ resource allocation decisions in maize based farming systems in Malawi. This study necessitates the use of a combination of biophysical and economic procedures when evaluating promising lines prior to variety release in order to identify the high yielding variety that will continuously bring sustained profits to the farmers amidst climate change.
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Southern Africa
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