IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/pra/mprapa/90798.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Misperceived Quality: Fertilizer in Tanzania

Author

Listed:
  • Michelson, Hope
  • Ellison, Brenna
  • Fairbairn, Anna
  • Maertens, Annemie
  • Manyong, Victor

Abstract

Fertilizer use remains below recommended rates in most of Sub-Saharan Africa, contributing to poor crop yields and poverty. Farmers voice suspicion that available fertilizer is often adulterated, but these concerns are not backed by reliable evidence. In fact, an insight from industry but absent from academic literature is that profitable fertilizer adulteration is difficult. We surveyed all fertilizer sellers in Morogoro Region, Tanzania and tested 633 samples of their fertilizer. We also conducted a willingness-to-pay assessment with farmers. We find that fertilizers meet nutrient standards but that belief of rampant product adulteration persists among farmers. We find evidence of a quality inference problem in the market: 25% of fertilizer has deteriorated in observable ways and farmers rely on these observable attributes to (incorrectly) assess unobservable nutrient quality. We show that this misperception likely reduces technology adoption beyond the effect of nutrient quality being unobservable.

Suggested Citation

  • Michelson, Hope & Ellison, Brenna & Fairbairn, Anna & Maertens, Annemie & Manyong, Victor, 2018. "Misperceived Quality: Fertilizer in Tanzania," MPRA Paper 90798, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:90798
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/90798/1/MPRA_paper_90798.pdf
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Esther Duflo & Michael Kremer & Jonathan Robinson, 2011. "Nudging Farmers to Use Fertilizer: Theory and Experimental Evidence from Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2350-2390, October.
    2. Dercon, Stefan & Christiaensen, Luc, 2011. "Consumption risk, technology adoption and poverty traps: Evidence from Ethiopia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 159-173, November.
    3. Hans P. Binswanger, 1980. "Attitudes Toward Risk: Experimental Measurement in Rural India," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 62(3), pages 395-407.
    4. Tavneet Suri, 2011. "Selection and Comparative Advantage in Technology Adoption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(1), pages 159-209, January.
    5. Iván Marinovic & Andrzej Skrzypacz & Felipe Varas, 2018. "Dynamic Certification and Reputation for Quality," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 58-82, May.
    6. Edward Balistreri & Gary McClelland & Gregory Poe & William Schulze, 2001. "Can Hypothetical Questions Reveal True Values? A Laboratory Comparison of Dichotomous Choice and Open-Ended Contingent Values with Auction Values," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 18(3), pages 275-292, March.
    7. Dean Karlan & Robert Osei & Isaac Osei-Akoto & Christopher Udry, 2014. "Agricultural Decisions after Relaxing Credit and Risk Constraints," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(2), pages 597-652.
    8. Shenggen Fan & Ashok Gulati & Sukhadeo Thorat, 2008. "Investment, subsidies, and pro‐poor growth in rural India," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(2), pages 163-170, September.
    9. Timothy G. Conley & Christopher R. Udry, 2010. "Learning about a New Technology: Pineapple in Ghana," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 35-69, March.
    10. Alpizar, Francisco & Carlsson, Fredrik & Naranjo, Maria A., 2011. "The effect of ambiguous risk, and coordination on farmers' adaptation to climate change — A framed field experiment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(12), pages 2317-2326.
    11. repec:oup:qjecon:v:132:y:2017:i:3:p:1055-1100. is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Foster, Andrew D & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1995. "Learning by Doing and Learning from Others: Human Capital and Technical Change in Agriculture," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1176-1209, December.
    13. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2005. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects: New Data without Order Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 902-912, June.
    14. Bateman, Ian J. & Willis, Kenneth G. (ed.), 2001. "Valuing Environmental Preferences: Theory and Practice of the Contingent Valuation Method in the US, EU , and developing Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199248919.
    15. Feder, Gershon & Just, Richard E & Zilberman, David, 1985. "Adoption of Agricultural Innovations in Developing Countries: A Survey," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 255-298, January.
    16. Ruth Vargas Hill & John Hoddinott & Neha Kumar, 2013. "Adoption of weather-index insurance: learning from willingness to pay among a panel of households in rural Ethiopia," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 44(4-5), pages 385-398, July.
    17. Sheahan, Megan & Barrett, Christopher B., 2017. "Ten striking facts about agricultural input use in Sub-Saharan Africa," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 12-25.
    18. repec:eee:deveco:v:129:y:2017:i:c:p:58-72 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Costa-Font, Montserrat & Gil, José M. & Traill, W. Bruce, 2008. "Consumer acceptance, valuation of and attitudes towards genetically modified food: Review and implications for food policy," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 99-111, April.
    20. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
    21. Lybbert, Travis J., 2006. "Indian farmers' valuation of yield distributions: Will poor farmers value `pro-poor' seeds?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 415-441, October.
    22. Bart Minten & Bethlehem Koru & David Stifel, 2013. "The last mile(s) in modern input distribution: Pricing, profitability, and adoption," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 44(6), pages 629-646, November.
    23. Hasing, Tomas & Carpio, Carlos E. & Willis, David B. & Sydorovych, Olha & Marra, Michele, 2012. "The Effect of Label Information on U.S. Farmers' Herbicide Choices," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(02), pages 200-214, August.
    24. Beattie, Jane & Loomes, Graham, 1997. "The Impact of Incentives upon Risky Choice Experiments," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 155-168, March.
    25. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    26. John List & Craig Gallet, 2001. "What Experimental Protocol Influence Disparities Between Actual and Hypothetical Stated Values?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 20(3), pages 241-254, November.
    27. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Schilizzi, Steven G.M., 2015. "Quality signaling through certification in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 105-121.
    28. Sanogo, Diakalia & Masters, William A., 2002. "A market-based approach to child nutrition: mothers' demand for quality certification of infant foods in Bamako, Mali," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 251-268, June.
    29. Munshi, Kaivan, 2004. "Social learning in a heterogeneous population: technology diffusion in the Indian Green Revolution," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 185-213, February.
    30. repec:eee:deveco:v:127:y:2017:i:c:p:133-152 is not listed on IDEAS
    31. Andre Croppenstedt & Mulat Demeke & Meloria M. Meschi, 2003. "Technology Adoption in the Presence of Constraints: the Case of Fertilizer Demand in Ethiopia," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(1), pages 58-70, February.
    32. Wim Verbeke, 2005. "Agriculture and the food industry in the information age," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 32(3), pages 347-368, September.
    33. Fairbairn, Anna & Michelson, Hope & Ellison, Brenna & Manyong, Victor, 2016. "Mineral Fertilizer Quality: Implications for Markets and Small Farmers in Tanzania," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 236818, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    34. Gajate-Garrido, Gissele & Hoffmann, Vivian & Magnan, Nicholas & Opoku, Nelson, 2016. "Technological and Market Interventions for Aflatoxin Control in Ghana: Preliminary Findings," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 236267, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    35. Klaus G. Grunert, 2005. "Food quality and safety: consumer perception and demand," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 32(3), pages 369-391, September.
    36. Matuschke, Ira & Mishra, Ritesh R. & Qaim, Matin, 2007. "Adoption and Impact of Hybrid Wheat in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1422-1435, August.
    37. Ephraim Chirwa, 2005. "Adoption of fertiliser and hybrid seeds by smallholder maize farmers in Southern Malawi," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(1), pages 1-12.
    38. Glenn W. Harrison & Eric Johnson & Melayne M. McInnes & E. Elisabet Rutström, 2005. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 897-901, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    agriculture; fertilizer; input adoption; technology adoption; quality; Sub-Saharan Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:90798. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/vfmunde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.