Each agricultural season, small-scale maize farmers in southeastern Uganda face the same dilemma. Should they shell out a few extra shillings and buy commercial maize seed from the nearby agro-input shop, or should they just plant seed saved from the previous harvest?
The advantages of the first strategy are obvious. The small investment in commercial seed can substantially increase future income from maize. About 28,000 UGX (roughly US$8) buys enough seed to plant half an acre, and can yield an additional 1.25 to 2.5 bags of maize – an extra income of between 88,000 and 176,000 UGX ($25-50).