Willingness to pay for Drought Tolerance (DT) in Maize in Communal Areas of Zimbabwe

This study aimed at estimating the implicit prices farmers are willing to pay (WTP) for maize traits with deliberate focus on drought tolerance. Using choice experiment, we generated 12600 observations from a random sample of 1400 households in communal areas within 14 districts of Zimbabwe. Taste parameters and heterogeneities (scale and residual taste) were estimated using the generalized multinomial logit model (G-MNL) and its different versions. Drought tolerance, grain yield, large grain size, covered cob tip, big cob and semi flint texture were the most preferred traits by rural Zimbabweans. The WTP values were estimated using the WTP space approach. Sample farmers are, for example, willing to pay a premium for drought tolerance that is 1.75 times the amount they are willing to pay for an increase of 1 ton in grain yield per acre, 8.3 times the value they attach for a change from small to big cob size, and 14.7 times the willingness to pay for semi-flint texture over dent texture of maize. The uncertainty that DT might not be appealing to poor farmers as much as some other technologies can only be cleared only if the promotion of DT materials is done in the right manner and to the right farm community. Innovative ways of promoting DT maize vis-à-vis creating awareness in contextual understanding of drought and drought risk shall be employed to enhance adoption of new DT maize varieties by risk prone farming communities. Given the high level of rural literacy and the high rate of adoption of improved maize in Zimbabwe, trait based promotion and marketing of varieties would be the right strategy.

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JEL Codes:
B41; C25; D03; D12; O13; O33; Q12

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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