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Assessing rural consumers’ WTP for orange, biofortified maize in Ghana with experimental auctions and a simulated radio message

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Abstract

Deficiencies of micronutrients such as vitamin A are widespread, expecially in Africa. Biofortified crops such as maize, bred for high levels of provitamin A might offer a solution, but these crops are often bright orange, and African maize consumers prefer white. To estimate the consumers interest in orange biofortified maize, sensory evaluations were organized in rural Ghana with white, yellow and orange maize. The effect of information on willingness to pay for biofortification was estimated using a simulated radio message. Results indicate that color preferences are highly regional, wide variation exist within regions, and the provision of information is able to change these preferences. The color of biofortified maize should therefore not be seen as major impediment, but proper information messages should be targeted at the right channels such as rural radio.

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