Variety Traits and Sustainable Food Security: The Role of Improved Cassava Varieties in Kenya
Osewe, Maurice
Liu, Aijun
Han, Jiqing

How to Cite

Osewe M., Liu A., Han J., 2021, Variety Traits and Sustainable Food Security: The Role of Improved Cassava Varieties in Kenya, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 89, 355-360.


Sustainable food and nutrition security is a critical issue on the changing climatic conditions and rapidly increasing population growth. Improved and sustainable agricultural practices are the key to sustaining and feeding the growing population. Cassava has been proposed as one of the mitigations to feed the future because its drought resistance and varietal improvement is vital for food security in Sub-Saharan Africa. The varietal improvements are particularly essential in Kisumu where cassava is produced more than any other county, but yields are low. This article aims to analyse the role of variety attributes on the adoption and farmers awareness of improved cassava varieties in Kisumu County, Kenya. A multivariate probit model involving four adoption equations using data set from a sample of 418 respondents was estimated. The results show that about 93.8 %, 72.6 %, and 70.4 % were aware of TMS 30572, TM/14, and MH93/OVA improved varieties. The local variety, Selele, was at 98 %. In addition, about 41.7 %, 32.9 %, and 25.8 % adopted TMS 30572, TM/14, and MH93/OVA improved cassava varieties, while 45.8 % were still growing local varieties, Selele. Awareness of production attributes, yield, maturity period, pest and disease resistance, and drought tolerance induced the adoption of improved cassava varieties. In contrast, local varieties were grown due to desirable consumption traits, taste, and ease of cooking. The findings of the model demonstrate the existence of correlation in the farmers’ adoption decisions. Yield, early maturing, resistance to pests and diseases, and tolerance to drought positively and significantly influence the adoption of improved varieties, while taste and ease of cooking negatively affect the same adoption. The findings envision that more sustainable approaches to cassava production could offer tangible environmental benefits since it is a subsistence crop that is cultivated over a large cropland proportion. This approach will enable cassava breeders to focus on enhancing production attributes and consumption traits that address farmers’ different needs in adoption.