Effect of Improved Sweet Potato Varieties on Household Food Security in Bungoma County, Kenya

Kenya’s Agricultural Sector Development Strategy (ASDS), envisions a food secure and prosperous nation with the overall goal of the agricultural sector to achieve an average growth rate of 7 percent per year. The strategy has, among others, target to reduce food insecurity by 30 percent to surpass the MDGs by the year 2015. About 60 per cent of households in western Kenya live below poverty line an indication of a high proportion of the population without adequate quantity and quality of food intake. With the adoption of agricultural intensification strategies which entails investments in modern inputs and technologies, the development of the (ISVs) improved sweet potato varieties by Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization(KALRO) is better option to increase agricultural production and quality produce and reduce food insecurity. However, before undertaking any impact assessment, it was imperative to establish whether the participation by farmers was instrumental in the adoption of technologies and innovations. This study aimed at shedding light on the potential contribution of improved sweet potato varieties on food security in Bungoma East Sub county, Bungoma County. The analysis was based on the data collected from a sample of 164 farm households in the sub county. A multistage sampling procedure was used to arrive at the sample, with semi structured questionnaires employed as the research instrument to collect qualitative and quantitative data through face to face interviews. Household Dietary Diversity Index (HDDS) method was used to measure food security (assess the a c ce s s a nd quality of food intake). I used descriptive statistics, Heckman two step model and endogenous switching probit model to analyse. SPSS and STATA computer programs were used to process the data. The results show that adoption of improved sweet potato varieties were largely influenced by extension contact and also education level but negatively influenced by farming experience as expected. However the adoption of ISVs (Improved Sweetpotato Varieties) had a robust and positive effect on farmer’s household food security. In counterfactual case, adopters have 7.8% probability of being food secure while non adopters would have 6.8% probability of being food insecure hence better-off not adopting the ISVs through reduced food security. The need to strengthen extension services by the government since farmers get most of their information about new technologies from them, diversifying farm income through creation of sustainable off-farm activities and strengthen contractual agreements in marketing to wipe out middlemen in the process and assure farmers constant market for their produce are among the public policy recommendations that would help increase probability of being food secure.

Issue Date:
Publication Type:
Thesis/ Dissertation
PURL Identifier:
Total Pages:
A Thesis Submitted to the Graduate School in Partial Fulfilment for the Requirements of the Award of a Master of Science Degree in Agricultural and Applied Economics of Egerton University. Advisors: Professor B.K Mutai (PhD) and Dr Jackson K Langat (PhD)

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-22

Download fulltext

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
(Not yet reviewed)