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Abstract

This paper examines the effect of variety attributes on adoption of improved sorghum varieties in Kenya. Using data from 140 farmers, the paper uses a multivariate probit to identify variety-specific drivers of adoption. The results on the perception of farmers variety attributes show that improved varieties had desirable production and marketing attributes while the local varieties were perceived to have the best consumption attributes. Evidence further indicates that the major sorghum variety attributes driving rapid adoption are taste, drought tolerance, yield, ease of cooking and the variety’s ability to fetch a price premium. Early maturity, a major focus of research has no effect on adoption. The findings of the study imply that, while developing improved seed varieties, breeders should also focus on non yield attributes like taste and ease of cooking. Secondly, it is important that both producers and consumers of sorghum be involved in the seed evaluation process.

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