Farmer willingness to pay for seed-related information: rice varieties in Nigeria and Benin
"A typical private good is defined by its excludability and rivalry characteristics. Information embodied in a technology might not generate rivalry among its users. By contrast, excludability is certainly a characteristic of this kind of information and its delivery can generate incentives for private participation. This study examines farmers' preferences for seed of new rice varieties and their willingness to pay for seed-related information in villages of Nigeria and Benin. Conjoint analysis is used to estimate the structure of farmers' preferences for rice seed given a set of alternatives. Farmers are considered to be consumers of seed as a production input, preferring one variety over another based on the utility they obtain from its attributes, which depends on their own social and economic characteristics, including whether or not they sell rice. Contingent methods are used to elicit preferences and willingness to pay (WTP) for rice seed. The marginal values of attributes, with and without information about the seed, are estimated with an ordered probit regression. WTP for information is derived from the analysis of WTP for rice seed. The results have implications for the best way to finance research and extension services in the areas of intervention, particularly for new rice varieties. " Authors' Abstract
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