The Impact of International Potato Center’s Nutrition Project on Smallholder farmers’ Income and Adoption of Improved Potato Varieties: Tigray region, Northern Ethiopia
Teklemariam, Tebabal Misikir
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Achieving national food security is one of the major challenges currently facing developing countries like Ethiopia. Despite the high production potential and the nutritional importance of the crops, potato and sweetpotato producers particularly smallholder farmers have not economically benefited much from their production. The nutrition project had been implemented by CIP-Ethiopia and was intended to encourage the production and consumption of the two crops using improved varieties. In view of that, the objectives of this study were: to assess the impact of the project on smallholder farmers’ income as well as to identify the factors that affect the adoption of improved potato varieties. For this study, 150 sample households were selected by international potato center and the baseline data was collected between 28th June and 12th July 2011 before the intervention, 100 were participants in the project whereas 50 were non-participants. The follow-up data was collected last December 2013. While the difference in differences estimation procedure was implemented in assessing the impact, the logistic regression was employed to identify the determinants of adoption of improved potato varieties. The results showed that the project has resulted in bringing a significant income improvement in the treatment group i.e. the mean income difference in the treated group before and after the treatment was significantly greater than the corresponding mean income difference of the control group. This is true in terms of total income, potato income as well as sweetpotato income. On the other hand, six of the covariates used in the logistic regression function to find out the determinants of adoption of improved potato varieties were found to be significant. These include education level of the household head, access to extension services, participation in off-farm activities, participation in the project, having radio and cell phone are found to be positively and significantly related with adoption.