In the context of climate change and its effects, production and consumption of orphaned crops such as sweet potato has been promoted as alternative food diets in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). However, sustainable production of these crops is hampered by poor access to seed. This paper assesses seed security among smallholder sweet potato producers in Kenya and its implications on household food security. Data for the paper were collected through a survey of 383 sweet potato producing households in Kirinyaga and Homabay Counties of Kenya. Seed security was measured through an adaptation and modification of the FAO's seed security framework based on four parameters – availability, accessibility, varietal suitability and seed quality. We measured food security using the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES). Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and poisson regression models. Results show that our respondents experienced mild seed insecurity with a score of 4.8 out of a possible maximum score of 12. Results further show that seed security positively and significantly influenced food security and seed access is the most critical element influencing food security. The regression results also show that wealth index, distance to the market, income and education level positively and significantly influence household food security. Our findings underscore the importance of promoting seed security for orphaned crops, especially among the low-income households as a mechanism for improving household and by implication national food and nutrition security.
Mwangi, C. W., Ateka, J., Mbeche, R., & Ateka, E. (2020). Seed security for vegetatively propagated orphaned crops and its implication for household food security in rural Kenya: A case of sweet potato (Ipomea batatas). Journal of Agriculture and Food Research, 2, 100087. doi:10.1016/j.jafr.2020.100087