Vitamin A deficiency is a major health problem in Africa and in many other developing countries. Biofortified staple crops that are high in pro-vitamin A have the potential to reduce the prevalence of vitamin A deficiency. Using a choice experiment with the real product in Uganda, we quantify the magnitude of the premium or discount in consumers’ willingness-to-pay (WTP) that may be associated with it. Results suggest that taste plays an important role in consumer acceptance, and the provision of nutrition information does translate into substantial premiums for the biofortified variety. There is a substantial hypothetical bias in the WTP for the new varieties, and while cheap talk mitigates this bias, it does not eliminate it.
Research also published as HarvestPlus Working Paper No. 3.
American Journal of Agricultural Economics (2011) 93 (1) 83-97 [doi: 10.1093/ajae/aaq121]