Briefing Paper

Reducing The Maize Yield Gap In Ethiopia: Analysis And Policy Simulation

Ethiopia can be considered a success story for maize production as, apart from South Africa, it is the only country in Sub-Saharan Africa that has shown substantial progress in maize productivity and input use. After a period of limited growth, yield more than doubled from around 1.5 ton/ha in 2000 to over 3 ton/ha in 2013. Despite the recent progress in productivity, yield levels in Ethiopia are still very low relative to what could be produced. Data from the Global Yield Gap Atlas (GYGA) shows that the average maize yield gap in Ethiopia is 82%. The yield gap is defined as the difference between (water-limited) potential yield and actual yield. Potential yield is the maximum yield that can be produced on a parcel of land given agro-climatic conditions, assuming either rain fed or irrigated conditions.