Pathways in and out of maize

  • Published 28/08/11

In a region where droughts and other extreme weather events are common, maize is central to food security for most households across East and Southern Africa. From national policy to individual households, maize security has come to be equated with food security. The resulting complex web of ‘maize politics’ directly influences both policy and families’ access to food.

Consequently, concerns about maize production and access drive national agricultural research and development policy, leading to a virtual ‘lock-in’ to maize as the dominant pathway to food security. The ESRC STEPS Centre’s maize project sought to identify and analyse alternative ‘pathways in and out of maize’ in the face of dynamic environmental, social and technological change.