Farmers Preferences for Cassava Variety Traits: Empirical Evidence from Ghana

Cassava, has received much research on improved varietal development in Ghana. The National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) have released about 24 improved cassava varieties since 1993, which are high yielding, disease and pest resistant and early maturing. However, adoption by smallholder farmers is very low leading to low outputs and low incomes. Adoption could be improved with greater understanding of farmers’ cassava variety attributes preferences. Using stated preference technique, specifically, choice experiment applied across 450 farm households, we evaluated farmers preferences for cassava variety attributes in Ghana and identified farm household-specific and institutional factors that governed the preferences. The empirical results showed that in-soil storage (longevity) and disease resistance are important attributes for farmers' choice of cassava varieties. Farmers have lower utility towards high productivity. Farmers are willing to forgo some extra incomes and yields in order to obtain a more disease and pest resistant varieties and increased longevity of matured roots in the soil. This implies that until market chains are expanded the introduction of new and improved varieties would not contribute significantly towards utilities. Among other things, age, gender, extension and years of farming experience, are the major factors causing household heterogeneity of cassava varieties preferences. Based on our experimental results, we derived important policy implications for breeding priority setting and cassava varieties adoption.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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