Adoption of Nutritionally Enhanced Sweetpotato Varieties: The Role of Household Food Insecurity and Knowledge of Nutritional Benefits Julius J. Okello*, Kelvin Shikuku, Kirimi Sindi, Margaret Mc Ewan and Jan Low * International Potato Center, P.O. Box 25171, Nairobi, Kenya; [email protected] Selected Poster prepared for presentation at the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association’s 2014 AAEA Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN, July 27-29, 2014. Copyright 2014 by Julius J. Okello, Kelvin Shikuku, Kirimi Sindi, Margaret McEwan and Jan Low. All rights reserved. Readers may make verbatim copies of this document for non-commercial purposes by any means, provided that this copyright notice appears on all such copies. Adoption of Nutritionally Enhanced Sweetpotato Varieties: The Role of Household Food Insecurity and Knowledge of Nutritional Benefits Julius J. Okello*, Kelvin M. Shikuku, Kirimi Sindi, McEwan Margaret and Jan Low International Potato Center, P.O. Box 25171 – 00603 Nairobi, Kenya Introduction & Study Objective • Hidden hunger has become a major issue in the world development. • Thus plant breeding efforts have focused on producing varieties that confer micronutrient in developing country staple crops. • These food-based approach for combating hidden hunger is seen as a more sustainable way of tackling hidden hunger than food supplements. • In tandem with breeding efforts, there is even greater effort at promoting the growing and consumption of the nutritionally enhanced foods (NEF) in developing countries. • The efforts include sensitization of farmers on the benefits of consuming NEF, including food security and health. • This paper uses rich dataset collected from 732 households in Tanzania to examine the effect of household food insecurity and nutritional knowledge on the adoption of NEF varieties. • The study focused on orange fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP), developed to target vitamin A deficiency in Africa. • Vitamin A deficiency affects 127 million pre-school children globally, with up to 0.5 million becoming blind annually. Results of the multivariate probit reg. model Variable Kabode Jewel Ejumula New Polista Nutrition knowledge + + + + Food insecurity + + + Age Education Distance to market - +++ + Farm size - - Crop income Group member + + + Taste Very dry zone Moderately dry zone + + - + N=732; Wald Ch-square = 6408; p-value = 0; artrhoij = 0.000 for i≠j for i=variety Farmer planting sweetpotato % of farmers growing study varieties Methodology =1%; = 5% ; = 10% sig level Discussion, conclusions & implications The study focused on smallholder sweetpotato farmers, in the Mara, Mwanza, Kagera and Shinyanga regions of Tanzania, that had been targeted by a 4-year project on OFSP production and consumption. Data were collected through personal interviews with farmers stratified by project participation, using pre-designed questionnaires A multivariate probit (MVP) regression model is estimated due to likely interdependence in decision-making in the adoption of various varieties. The OFSP varieties in the estimated MVP model were Ejumula, Kabode, and Jewel. New Polista, the most popular local variety, and also promoted by the project, was also included. The dependent variable in each of 4 equations in the estimated model is a dummy variable equal to 1 if a farmer planted the variety, 0 otherwise The food insecurity status of the household was measured using an index based on the Rash model which computes an index using statements about actions taken by the household in response food inadequacy. Nutritional knowledge is proxied by participation in the project. The conditioning variables used included: gender, age, education, farm size, distance to market, crop income, group membership, credit, yield and agroecology of the area. As hypothesized, household food insecurity and knowledge of the benefits of consuming NEF increases the likelihood all the orange fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP) varieties. However, the food insecurity does affect the likelihood od adopting the local variety Also, as expected the results indicate that there is interdependence in decision to adopt the various OFSP varieties and the local variety Distance to market (a proxy for transaction costs) reduced the adoption of 2 of the 3 varieties promoted by the project Other conditioning factors (age, farm size, crop income, group membership and agroecology) also affection the adoption of OFSP varieties, but the effect is variety specific. The study concludes that household food insecurity status and nutrition knowledge affect adoption of nutritionally enhanced foods. The findings imply that a project that sensitizes farmers about the benefits of NEF can increase the uptake of such crops. The findings also imply the need to continue ups-caling OFSP production and consumption among poor households Further, efforts to spur greater adoption of OFSP should target the reduction of transaction costs * Corresponding author: Email : [email protected] This research was funded by The Sweetpotato Action for Security and Health project, led by the International Potato Center. The authors acknowledge the invaluable support of Adventina Babu, January Mafuru and Florence Nakazi during this study.
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