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Do urban African dwellers pay a premium for food quality and, if so, how much? An investigation of the Malian fonio grain market


  • Sandrine Dury

    () (Cirad, UMR Moisa, F-34000 Montpellier, France)

  • Véronique meuriot

    (Cirad, Arena, F-34000 Montpellier, France)


Very little data is available concerning the valuation of quality on existing food markets in Sub-Saharan Africa. Using data collected from a survey of fonio (a cereal) retail markets conducted in Bamako, Mali, Africa and a hedonic price Partial Least Square regression method, this study shows that most quality attributes declared as important by consumers have a specific hedonic price that is different from zero. This is interpreted as a result of the efficient performance of so-called traditional informal markets. Among the valued attributes, some are physical (colour, degree of milling) and thus relatively easy to assess, while the assessment of others (category or country of origin) are more complicated for both parties to the transaction. These attributes, however, also have specific hedonic prices. Informal norms and a certain amount of trust are thus present in these markets and should not be underestimated. The inclusion of buyer characteristics in the model is justified by the differences in bargaining power, which are essentially linked with different levels of experience buying or using the product. We showed that women were getting better prices for the same product quality. The premiums paid for quality varied from 1 to 14% of the price. These estimates have confirmed the other few estimates done in African food markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Sandrine Dury & Véronique meuriot, 2010. "Do urban African dwellers pay a premium for food quality and, if so, how much? An investigation of the Malian fonio grain market," Review of Agricultural and Environmental Studies - Revue d'Etudes en Agriculture et Environnement, INRA Department of Economics, vol. 91(4), pages 417-433.
  • Handle: RePEc:rae:jourae:v:91:y:2010:i:4:p:417-433

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Langyintuo, A. S. & Ntoukam, G. & Murdock, L. & Lowenberg-DeBoer, J. & Miller, D. J., 2004. "Consumer preferences for cowpea in Cameroon and Ghana," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 30(3), pages 203-213, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kadjo, Didier & Ricker-Gilbert, Jacob & Alexander, Corinne, 2016. "Estimating Price Discounts for Low-Quality Maize in sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Benin," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 115-128.
    2. Charlie Mbosso & Basile Boulay & Stefano Padulosi & Gennifer Meldrum & Youssoufa Mohamadou & Aminata Berthe Niang & Harouna Coulibaly & Yara Koreissi & Amadou Sidibé, 2020. "Fonio and Bambara Groundnut Value Chains in Mali: Issues, Needs, and Opportunities for Their Sustainable Promotion," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(11), pages 1-19, June.

    More about this item


    fonio; cereal; quality; hedonic prices; PLS method; empirical investigation;

    JEL classification:

    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa


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