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Abstract

Risk aversion is the primary reason for farmers to use forward pricing methods to hedge against price risk. Previous international research on farmers’ forward pricing behaviour found inconsistent results with respect to the relationship between risk aversion and the use of forward pricing methods. Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression is used in this research to investigate the relationship between the proportion of maize Vaalharts maize producers are willing to forward price and risk aversion. The quantity decision is modelled conditional on the adoption decision to ensure that the modelling procedure does not force the same variables to influence the two decisions in the same way. Regression results showed that more risk averse farmers are forward pricing a larger proportion of their crop produce. The main conclusion from this research is that the relationship between farmers’ risk aversion and the quantity of maize forward priced is consistent with expected utility theory in spite of the fact that farmers needs to be less risk averse to adopt forward pricing. Future emphases should be placed on the factors affecting the adoption of forward pricing as risk management tool in order to promote risk management. Especially research that will change farmers’ perception about forward pricing is necessary.

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