Varietal Identification in Household Surveys: Results from Three Household-based Methods Against the Benchmark of DNA Fingerprinting in Southern Ethiopia


Accurate crop varietal identification is the backbone of any high-quality assessment of outcomes and impacts. Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) varieties have important nutritional differences, and there is strong interest in identifying nutritionally superior varieties for dissemination. In this article, we present the results of a data capture experiment on sweet potato varietal identification in southern Ethiopia. In total, 20% of farmers identified a variety as improved when in fact it was local and 19% identified a variety as local when it was in fact improved. The variety names given by farmers delivered inconsistent and inaccurate varietal identities. The results suggest that estimating the adoption of improved varieties with methods based on farmer self-reports is questionable and point towards a wider use of DNA fingerprinting in adoption and impact assessments.

Authors: , , , , , ,
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Publication: Experimental Agriculture
Number of pages: 15
File type: PDF
File size: 364.31 KB

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