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Food security impacts of smallholder farmers’ adoption of dual-purpose sweetpotato varieties in Rwanda

Gideon Danso-Abbeam (), Lloyd J. S. Baiyegunhi (), Mark D. Laing () and Hussein Shimelis ()
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Gideon Danso-Abbeam: University of KwaZulu-Natal
Lloyd J. S. Baiyegunhi: University of KwaZulu-Natal
Mark D. Laing: University of KwaZulu-Natal
Hussein Shimelis: University of KwaZulu-Natal

Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, 2021, vol. 13, issue 3, No 11, 653-668

Abstract: Abstract Many empirical studies have recognized the importance of using improved crop varieties to tackle the challenges of low productivity, poverty, hunger, and food insecurity. Nevertheless, the size of the effect of any crop variety, such as dual-purpose sweetpotatoes developed for both food and animal feed, adopted by the target groups remains an empiric concern. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the determinants of adoption of dual-purpose sweetpotato varieties and, subsequently, estimate the extent to which adoption impacts household food security status. To establish causation, we used an endogenous switching probit to reduce the selection bias resulting from both observed and unobserved characteristics. The results of the adoption analysis indicate a low level of adoption (42%), and factors such as sex of the respondent, primary occupation, farm size, membership of social group, and a visit to farm demonstrations play significant roles in shaping farmers’ decision to adopt the dual-purpose sweetpotato varieties. Furthermore, the findings indicate that food insecurity continues among rural farming households, although a large proportion (63%) experiences mild food insecurity to food security. Generally, the adoption of dual-purpose sweetpotato has a positive impact on food security of the adopters, and the non-adopters would have benefited substantially from adoption if they had adopted. Thus, sweetpotato being a staple crop in Rwanda has a strong effect on the households’ food security status. Therefore, it implies the need to pursue efforts to intensify the growth of dual-purpose sweetpotato by poor rural households facing the dual problem of access and nutrition for food security and not having the means to afford food supplements.

Keywords: African centre for crop improvement; Food insecurity experience scale; Sweetpotato varieties; Endogenous switching probit; Rwanda (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s12571-020-01119-7

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