Quality Factors Affecting the Value of Beef in Kenya: An Assessrnent of Relevant Attributes and Altemate Methodologies
In order to idem% and estimate the implicit values of quality attributes of Kenyan beef, revealed preference data on carcass prices and attributes and experimental choice data on butchers' contingent behaviour are collected and analysed. Three different methodological approaches are applied to denve estimates of implicit values; (i) a hedonic price model based on revealed preference data, (ii) a discrete choice model of butchers market choices, and (üi) a model of butchers' stated preferences. The three approaches are assessed and compared. Collinearity is evident in the revealed preference data and is avoided by experimental design in the stated preference data. However, the results from the three models are generally consistent. The results show that carcass damage and the quality attributes of carcass conformation, fatness, and weight are important in determining the value of a beef carcass at the wholesale level. Improvements in the handling of animals to reduce animal stress and visible damage on the carcass would increase carcass value. Carcass conformation is the most important of the carcass attributes. There seem to be optimal levels of carcass fatness and weight above which carcass prices are discounted. The results indicate that efforts by farmers, livestock traders and animal breeders to improve these quality attributes could increase the value of carcasses. These attributes could also be used for the establishment of a carcass grading or classification scheme that is economically meaning. Comparison of the three approaches to characteristic valuation demonstrate their relative weaknesses and strengths. It is suggested that a model that combines the revealed and stated preference data sets may provide an opportunity to exploit the strengths and avoid the weaknesses of each data set.