The stated reasons were grouped into the categories presented in Table 7-3. Many reported a shortage of land—either no available land or rent being too high for milpa production. Labor was reported as a constraint both in finding workers (hired labor) and because the head of household was too old or sick to continue farming (family labor). The most common answer, however, was that weather was unfavorable to production, or that yields were below acceptable levels. Finally, several households reported that the milpa was not viable because it ended up costing more than it benefited the household. Each of these answers reflects constraints and opportunity costs and highlights important interactions between economic decisions and seed management, e.g., fixed endowments of family time and land, and limited access to capital.

Many households reported that previously they had grown more maize than in the current period, and this was addressed by a survey question presented in Table 7-4. This linear trend of decreasing involvement in the maize sector may be as important to in situ conservation in the long term as seed management questions are in the short term.

Table 7-4. How long ago did you sow more maize?_


No. of HHs

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