H. Garming, J. Espinosa, S. Guardia, R. Jimenez
Improved cultivars of banana and plantain for managing biotic and abiotic stress and increasing productivity have been disseminated in many countries. Although some of these hybrids have performed well in many environments, evidence for large-scale adoption and acceptance in national markets is scarce. This study assesses the impact of the banana hybrid FHIA-21 (AAAB) in the Dominican Republic and analyses the factors that facilitated acceptance in national markets and adoption among farmers. Data collection included a household survey with a randomized sample of 182 farmers in the country’s most important growing region, the Cibao valley, and interviews with 15 key informants from the public and the private sector involved in research, extension and business related to plantains. Results show that 64% of survey respondents are now growing FHIA-21; of these adopters, 60% also continue cultivating the local cultivars. Results show that respondents who grow both FHIA-21 and the traditional triploids, with similar crop management, get significantly higher yields for FHIA-21 (20-25 t/ha versus 15-18 t/ha for the traditional cultivars). The adoption of FHIA-21 was found to be part of broader technological changes and closely related to the adoption of other modern production practices, such as higher planting densities, irrigation and frequent replanting; leading to particularly large yield differences between FHIA-21-only producers and those who exclusively produce traditional local cultivars. On the fresh markets, FHIA-21 is now widely accepted, although prices are about 30-40% lower, which makes it interesting for poorer consumers. As pointed out by key informants, market acceptance increased quickly after the decision of a large processing company to source FHIA-21 for their green plantain chips production, which was based on an initiative for collaboration between research institutes and the processing industry. The results emphasize the importance of agricultural policy and market conditions to enable and facilitate the large-scale adoption and impacts of new technologies, such as plantain hybrids.
Garming, H., Espinosa, J., Guardia, S. and Jimenez, R. (2013). LARGE-SCALE ADOPTION OF IMPROVED PLANTAINS: THE IMPACT OF FHIA-21 IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. Acta Hortic. 986, 259-265
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2013.986.29
enabling context, improved germplasm, public-private partnership, household survey, technological change

Acta Horticulturae