Factors explaining the diffusion of hybrid maize in Latin America and the Caribbean region

Jennifer L. Kosarek, Philip Garcia, Michael L. Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


If future demand for maize in Latin America and the Caribbean region (LAC) is to be met from local sources, domestic production must continue to increase. Because further expansion in the area planted to maize is precluded by the limited availability of arable land, future increases in production will have to rely heavily on the spread of productivity-enhancing hybrid technology. Until now, the diffusion of hybrid maize in LAC has been quite variable. Using data from 18 countries, we investigate factors affecting the hybrid maize diffusion rate. Our findings validate conventional profitability-based explanations of producer adoption behavior, but they also confirm the importance of supply-side factors, thereby providing empirical support for the life cycle theory of seed industry development. We conclude that if policy makers in LAC are to accelerate the diffusion of hybrid maize, they will have to ensure an environment in which it is not only profitable for producers to adopt improved germplasm, but also profitable for the seed industry to produce and sell high-quality seed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-280
Number of pages14
JournalAgricultural Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001


  • Caribbean
  • Diffusion
  • Latin America
  • Maize

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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