Assessment of Maize Yield Variations Due to Climatic Variables of Rainfall and Temperature

Lydia Mumbi Chabala, Elias Kuntashula, Peter Kaluba, Moombe Miyanda


The purpose of this study was to provide a better understanding of the maize yield variations as a function of climate in selected districts in Zambia. The specific objectives were: (i) to explore geographical patterns of the maize yield variations (ii) to investigate the possible relation between maize yield and climatic variables of rainfall and temperature. Data on maize yield was collected from Central Statistical Office while that for rainfall and temperature was collected from Zambia Meteorological Department. A mapped distribution of maize yield was produced to visualize the spatial pattern of maize yield across the selected districts. The strength and direction of the relationship between maize yield and rainfall and temperature was determined using correlations implemented in SPSS. Multiple regressions with ordinary least squares regression was used to fit models of how much variation in maize yield was explained by climatic variables. Results indicated that for one district (Nyimba), a significant (p = 0.05) explanation of variations in maize yield was attributed to levels of minimum and maximum temperature and amount of seasonal rainfall with 51.9% of the variation explained. However, the variation in maize yield that was explained by rainfall and temperature was not significant for the rest of the districts considered in the study.

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Journal of Agricultural Science   ISSN 1916-9752 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9760 (Online)  E-mail:

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