Effect of exposure to biofortified crops on smallholder farm household adoption decisions: The case of orange-fleshed sweetpotato in Ghana and Nigeria

Commonly used innovation adoption models indirectly assume homogenous information flow across farmers, which is often not the case. For new and or not widely known technologies, such as orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP) varieties, exposure plays an important role in farmers’ decision to adopt. OFSP varieties have been shown to be highly effective means of combating Vitamin A deficiency at the community level because of their high pro-vitamin A content and cost effectiveness as compared with fortification and supplementation. Significant efforts, including the implementation of the Jumpstarting Orange-fleshed Sweetpotato in West Africa through Diversified Markets project, have gone into promoting the production and consumption of OFSP in West Africa over the last decade. Observations in the project countries indicated that the usage rate of OFSP among the beneficiaries was extremely high, suggesting a significant link between exposure through awareness creation activities and adoption behavior. This study empirically examines the role of exposure to OFSP adoption. A multistage sampling technique was used to select farmers. Data were collected via face-to-face interviews with 345 and 381 sweetpotato farmers in Ghana and Nigeria respectively, using structured questionnaires. The study adopted the counterfactual outcome framework from the modern evaluation approach. We found that the OFSP adoption rates in 2016 could have been nearly 61% in Ghana and 42% in Nigeria, instead of the observed sample adoption rate of 51 and 33%, respectively, if the whole population was exposed to the OFSP varieties. This suggests that there is potential for increasing OFSP adoption rates through intensified dissemination and awareness creation activities. We also found that the OFSP adoption is influenced by a number of other factors, which varied between the study countries. This implies that interventions to increase the adoption rate shouldn’t use “one size fits all”, but rather targeted approaches.

Citation: Adekambi, S.A., Okello, J.J., Abidin, P.E., Carey, E. 2020. Effect of exposure to biofortified crops on smallholder farm household adoption decisions: The case of orange-fleshed sweetpotato in Ghana and Nigeria. Scientific African, v8. 11 p.
2021-02-11
BIOFORTIFICATION, CROP AND SYSTEMS SCIENCES CSS, FOOD SYSTEMS, NUTRITION, SWEETPOTATO AGRI-FOOD SYSTEMS, SWEETPOTATOES
Western Africa
Ghana, Nigeria

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