“The next line of study will try to determine the rate of diffusion, or awareness and adoption of their new crop varieties. To what extent are farmers aware of their released varieties? I will analyse the diffusion and adoption rates and, finally, I’ll analyse the impact of planting these new varieties on farmers’ productivity and welfare. Does adoption of these varieties improve farmers’ expenditure on food and non-food items, and has their food security improved?
The study will take the form of a questionnaire sent to all the ACCI graduates, from 19 different African countries. A follow-up visit for personal interviews will be limited to a sample of countries where ACCI graduates have released new varieties, e.g., Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Uganda, Mozambique, Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Mali and Burkina Faso.
Crops covered will include roots and tubers (potato, sweetpotato and cassava), cereals (rice, maize, sorghum and wheat) and legumes (groundnut, common bean and cowpea).
“I’ll also be trying to quantify how many varieties have been produced. We don’t have an exact record but it’s over 140 varieties.”
“At the moment I’m trying to figure out how we will track these people and find out how they are doing. I’m compiling a list of graduates to be visited. Ultimately we want to create a database to track graduates and varieties.”
Danso-Abbeam is well placed to conduct the study because he worked in the area of adoption and impact for his PhD, which looked at adoption of agricultural management practices among smallholder farmers and how this affected their welfare. He has also published articles on this topic.