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Abstract

In response to increasing urban consumer demand for fragrant rice, rice breeders have developed local, fragrant rice varieties in Senegal. We assess the drivers of demand for rice fragrance by eliciting urban consumers’ willingness to upgrade non-fragrant to fragrant rice and willingness to pay (WTP) for domestic versus imported fragrant rice. We conducted experimental auctions with 120 urban consumers in Dakar and analyzed WTP for rice fragrance through a double hurdle model. The results indicate that variables such as ethnicity, household size, and awareness of fragrance and local fragrant rice significantly affect consumers’ willingness to upgrade non-fragrant to fragrant rice. Urban consumers with positive buying intentions towards domestic fragrant rice are very likely to buy it and pay price premiums of 64 FCFA/kg. However local fragrant rice is slightly discounted compared to imported fragrant Thai Hom Mali rice. Our findings suggest that there is an important market for domestic fragrant rice in Dakar and that local rice is competitive with imported rice on that urban market.

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