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The Role of Varietal Attributes on Adoption of Improved Seed Varieties. The Case of Sorghum in Kenya

Author

Listed:
  • Timu, Anne G.
  • Mulwa, Richard M.
  • Okello, Julius Juma
  • Kamau, Mercy W.

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of variety attributes on adoption of improved sorghum varieties in Kenya. Using data from 140 farmers, the paper uses a multivariate probit to identify variety-specific drivers of adoption. The results on the perception of farmers variety attributes show that improved varieties had desirable production and marketing attributes while the local varieties were perceived to have the best consumption attributes. Evidence further indicates that the major sorghum variety attributes driving rapid adoption are taste, drought tolerance, yield, ease of cooking and the variety’s ability to fetch a price premium. Early maturity, a major focus of research has no effect on adoption. The findings of the study imply that, while developing improved seed varieties, breeders should also focus on non yield attributes like taste and ease of cooking. Secondly, it is important that both producers and consumers of sorghum be involved in the seed evaluation process.

Suggested Citation

  • Timu, Anne G. & Mulwa, Richard M. & Okello, Julius Juma & Kamau, Mercy W., 2012. "The Role of Varietal Attributes on Adoption of Improved Seed Varieties. The Case of Sorghum in Kenya," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 123301, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea12:123301
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/123301
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marenya, Paswel P. & Barrett, Christopher B., 2007. "Household-level determinants of adoption of improved natural resources management practices among smallholder farmers in western Kenya," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 515-536, August.
    2. Ephraim Nkonya & Ted Schroeder & David Norman, 1997. "Factors Affecting Adoption Of Improved Maize Seed And Fertiliser In Northern Tanzania," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1-3), pages 1-12.
    3. Gedikoglu, Haluk & McCann, Laura M.J., 2007. "Impact Of Off-Farm Income On Adoption Of Conservation Practices," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon TN 9944, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    4. Lorenzo Cappellari & Stephen P. Jenkins, 2003. "Multivariate probit regression using simulated maximum likelihood," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 3(3), pages 278-294, September.
    5. Zavale, Helder & Mabaya, Edward T. & Christy, Ralph D., 2005. "Adoption of Improved Maize Seed by Smallholder Farmers in Mozambique," Staff Papers 121065, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
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