Willingness to pay for organic vegetables in Abeokuta, South West Nigeria
AbstractRecent developments of widely reported incidents of dangerous levels of pesticides in food, fertilizer contamination of ground water and the occurrence of livestock diseases attributable to the production methods of large scale agriculture has stimulated the demand for organic food. Food safety is also gaining prominence in developing countries. This study was carried out to determine consumer awareness of organic vegetables and the determinants of willingness to pay a premium for the vegetables in south west Nigeria. The choice of the study area was premised on the
fact that it is the most exposed to the organic agriculture movement in Nigeria. Primary data was collected with the aid of structured questionnaire. One hundred and fifty-two (152) copies of the questionnaire were found suitable for analysis. Most of the respondents were literate (100%) married (90.8%) men (65.8%), between 30 and 59 years old. The result shows that majority (88.8%) of the respondents indicated that they had a prior knowledge of, had seen (72.4%) and had eaten (61.8%) organic
vegetables before. The respondents’ willingness to pay a premium for organic vegetables and the factors affecting this decision were investigated using a dichotomous response model (logit). In the model, willingness to pay was specified as 1 if willing and 0 otherwise. The results of the restricted model shows that the ethnic background of the respondents and the perception that organic vegetables are not harmful influences their willingness to pay a premium price for organic vegetables. Respondents’ age, work experience and household size significantly explains the
perception that organic vegetables are healthier than conventional, Similarly, age, ethnicity, work experience, religion and household size equally explains respondents’ impression that organic vegetables are costlier while the variable tastier was significantly explained by age and household income. There are strong indications of a ready market in Abeokuta, South west Nigeria in the event of extensive cultivation of organic vegetables.
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