Analysis of Wheat Yield Gap and Variability in Ethiopia

Fisseha Zegeye


Wheat is among important cereal crops to ensuring food and nutrition security in developing countries like Ethiopia. The demand for wheat is projected as significantly increases mainly due to a rapidly population growth in the countries. Globally, wheat yield must grow at least by 1.6%. Whereas, in Ethiopia, the yield must grow from the current level 4.6 million tons to 10 million tons. This paper hence, presents the analysis of wheat yield and the underlying causes of its variability among farmers across major wheat growing areas of the country. Data was used from the farm-household survey conducted in 2014/15 by EIAR in collaboration with CIMMYT. Supplementary secondary data on wheat area, production and consumption, and available wheat varieties were used from CSA and MoARD. Data were analyzed using various techniques (including descriptive, inferential statistics and regression analysis).  One way ANOVA was used to analyze the yield variability; whereas Weighted Least Square method was applied to identify the underlying causes for the variability of wheat yield among farmers. The result indicates that the average wheat production level per hectare (2.7 tons/ha) has been on the increase with inter annual variability, but the yield level is very low as compared to that of the research station (6-7 tons/ha) and the estimated average potential (5 tons/ha) in highland areas of the country. The yield gap analysis shows that 61%, 55% and 46% of wheat yield gap existed when the national average yield was compared with that of the actual yield at research station, farmers’ plot and potential yield at highland part of the country, respectively. The empirical analysis found there is statistically significant level of yield variability among wheat growers. The findings of the study revealed that use of improved technologies and production inputs, household assets, support services, and agro-ecologies were the primary factors that cause wheat yield variation in Ethiopia. It is recommended that site-specific wheat production management, technology requirement map, proper institutional support services and sustainable natural resource management following inter and intra-farm/plot variability.

Keywords: Wheat, yield gap, yield variability, wheat growing areas, Ethiopia

DOI: 10.7176/JBAH/10-9-05

Publication date:May 31st 2020


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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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