Consumer Acceptance of Biofortified Iron Beans in Rural Rwanda: Experimental Evidence, HarvestPlus Working Paper No. 18

Abstract

Iron deficiency among children and women of child-bearing age is a public health problem in many developing countries. Iron-biofortified varieties of commonly consumed staple crops have the potential to contribute to the daily iron requirements in diets. This paper examines consumer acceptance and willingness to pay (WTP) for two iron bean varieties in Rwanda: red iron bean (RIB) and white iron bean (WIB). Using the Becker-DeGroot-Marshak mechanism, the paper investigates the effect of (1) nutrition information; (2) information frame (i.e., information emphasizing loss or negative consequences of not having enough iron in diets versus information emphasizing gains or benefits of having enough iron in diets); and, (3) the frequency of providing the information on consumer WTP for iron bean varieties. Econometric models are used that take into account several issues, such as social interaction, non-payment effect, and home inventory of beans.

Results indicate that in the absence of information about the nutritional benefits of the two iron bean varieties, consumers are willing to pay a large premium for the RIB variety, but not for the WIB variety, relative to the local variety. The nutrition information provided has a significantly positive effect on the premium for each of the iron bean varieties. Results also indicate that the effects of how the information is framed (i.e., loss versus gain messaging) on this premium are not statistically significant. However, providing the nutrition information three times versus once significantly increases consumer demand for the WIB variety. These findings could inform the design of efficient delivery and marketing strategies for iron bean varieties in Rwanda.

Citation

Oparinde, A.; Birol, E.; Murekezi, A.; Katsvairo, L.; Diressie, M.T.; Nkundimana, J.d’A.; Butare, L. Consumer Acceptance of Biofortified Iron Beans in Rural Rwanda: Experimental Evidence, HarvestPlus Working Paper No. 18. (2015) 22 pp.

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