This paper explores maize productivity and the yield gap in maize production in five provinces of Sulawesi. The research is based on secondary data collected for the period of 2001 to 2007 on harvested area, production, seed distribution and productivity. The findings revealed that average maize production and productivity varied significantly across the five provinces, from 64,664 tons in Central Sulawesi to 698,198 tons in South Sulawesi and from 2.21 t/ha in Southeast Sulawesi to 3.39 t/ha in Gorontalo. The paper documents the main constraints to production, including biophysical (e.g. pests and diseases and soil fertility), socio-cultural (e.g. poor production facilities and failure to use high quality seed and fertilizer), economic (e.g. high input prices and limited farmer capital) and institutional (e.g. lack of extension services). In general, there remains a large yield gap (3-6.5 t/ha) between farm level yields and yield potential for several superior varieties, both hybrid and composite, in Sulawesi. The authors propose that this yield gap could be overcome by the availability of a package of locally specific planting technologies that could be easily and quickly adopted by farmers.

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