A contingent valuation approach to estimating willingness to pay for fish solar drying technology: Case of Western Shore of Lake Malawi

  • R. Makwinja
  • F. Kapute
Keywords: Contingent valuation, Fish solar dryer, Lake Malawi, Willingness to pay


For many years, open sun drying (OSD) has been the common way of preserving fish among the fishing households in Malawi. The main limitations of this technique have been increased fish quality deterioration and microbial contamination. Two fish solar dryers (FSD) were constructed under the SEEDFISH project along the Western Shore of Lake Malawi (WSLM) as a way of minimizing the effects of using OSD and provide a better way of drying fish in the area. The FSD though adopted, the fishing households have been seeking alternatives for its sustenance. This study estimates the households’ willingness to pay (WTP) and their influencing factors while using contingent valuation (CV) approaches. A wide range of data collection methods (exploratory surveys, focus group discussions, key informant interviews, and field observations) was employed. A total of 200 fishing households were randomly interviewed. The results showed that 144 (72.4%) of the respondents were willing to pay because the FSD was seen as a  way of mitigating the climate change impact, improving livelihoods, and reducing post-harvest losses. The mean annual aggregate WTP amount was estimated at MK3,648,750 (US$4,865). Those households (27.6%) not willing to pay argued that they had a low level of income while others could not see any value of the FSD. The regression coefficients of age and gender of household head (GHH) were negative (β =-6.02 and
Wald of 5.34, β = -6.92, Wald of 2.01) and significant (p<0.05) suggesting that young people were more WTP than their counterpart. Males also coded as 0 were more willing to pay than females. On the other hand, household literacy level (HLL), household involved in fish processing (HIVFP), household social trust (HST), household institutional trust (HIT), household level of income (HLI), household experienced fish post-harvest losses (HEFPL), household access to extension services (HAE) and household social network (HSN) were positive (β = 2.97, Wald of 7.11, β = 6.37 and
Wald of 5.41, β = 3.03 and Wald of 6, β = 11.2, Wald 9.02, β = 2.42, Wald of 8, β = 0.93, Wald of 4,81 and β = 2.50, Wald 2.10) and significant (p<0.05) suggesting that those HIVFP, had high HLL, HLI, HST, HIT, HSN and HEFPL were more willing to pay than their counterpart. These findings provide comprehensive baseline data for local government and communities in the development of more effective and holistic approaches to improving communities’ climate change resilience.

Key words: Contingent valuation, Fish solar dryer, Lake Malawi, Willingness to pay


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1684-5374
print ISSN: 1684-5358