Hedonic price analysis to guide breeding for upgrading an orphan crop in India and Nepal
Crop breeding has contributed much towards assuring the supply of high quality food for a rapidly growing world population. Crop breeding has, however, been focused on only a relatively small number of species and many more have been neglected. In this paper we report on our contributions to a multidisciplinary research project that aims at improving ricebean (Vigna umbellata) – an orphan pulse crop in India and Nepal – and at introducing improved ricebean into local and regional markets. The Ricebean has always been a traditional pulse in India and Nepal. Areas where the ricebean is grown today are characterized as remote regarding the access to markets and prevalence of subsistence households. Consumer preferences where captured by collecting ricebean prices and samples and a multivariate regression was used to estimate the influence of characteristics significantly affecting prices. With this estimated preference index breeders can assess the expected price of an improved ricebean variety at an early stage in plant breeding.
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