Assessment of Farmers’ Perceptions of and Willingness to Pay for Aflasafe Ke01, a Biological Control for Aflatoxins in Kenya
Aflatoxin contamination of key staples compromises quality of food products, trade and health of consumers whereas acute exposure can be fatal. Aflasafe KE01 is a promising biological control product in the management of aflatoxin contamination of key staples reducing levels of the toxin by up to 80 per cent in a single application. The biological product is made up of four natural indigenous strains of Aspergillus flavus that are atoxigenic. Being a novel biological pesticide, farmers’ perceptions and willingness to pay (WTP) need to be understood to facilitate commercialization. The objective of this study was to assess the farmers’ perceptions of and willingness to pay for Aflasafe KE01 as a biological control product in the management of aflatoxin contamination of key staples in Kenya. Further, the study assessed the potential influence of different factors on the WTP estimates. A sample of 480 households from four Counties identified as aflatoxin hotspots was randomly selected and interviewed through household survey questionnaires. Principal component analysis was used to reduce the farmers’ perceptions to more simplified components. The contingent valuation method (CVM) was employed to estimate the amount of money farmers were willing to pay while the influence of different factors on farmers’ WTP were assessed using the ordinary least squares regression method. Results show that famers’ perceptions can be grouped into a number of principal components namely; education and promotion need, effectiveness of the bio-pesticide, fear of unknown, maize disease a serious problem, bio-pesticide acceptability, aflatoxin is a serious problem and environmental safety. For effective adoption to occur, farmer will have to be sensitized fully to boost their confidence on the use of Aflasafe KE01. Using CVM the mean WTP value per kilogram of Aflasafe KE01 was Kshs 113 (US$1.33) for farmers in Tana River County, Kshs 152 (US$1.79) for Lower Eastern trial farmers and Kshs 147 (US$1.73) for Lower Eastern non-trial farmers (US$ ≡ Kshs 85)1. The amounts the households were willing 1 The conversion rate used at the time of data collection was one dollar to Ksh 85. xi to pay were higher than the Kshs 130, the price of a similar product in Nigeria except for households in Tana River County. This clearly shows that households in Kenya are willing to pay more for Aflasafe KE01 to control aflatoxin contamination in maize. From the econometric findings, the factors that were found to positively influence farmers’ WTP were utilization of crop extension services, credit utilization, awareness of bio-pesticide, contract agreement, household income, gender, age, being from Bura sub-county and initial bid amount. Those that were found to negatively influence WTP were household size, distance to market, perceptions of product effectiveness, and years of practice of the main livelihood activity. Based on the findings, there is need for increased extension services to educate and promote Aflasafe use. The results also shows that if farmers could access credit from the lending organizations either in the form of liquid cash or farm inputs, it would help increase their adoption rate for the biopesticide and also of other agricultural innovations. As distance to market was found to influence negatively the WTP, the stakeholders should thus target developing distribution networks that favor accessibility by end users situated away from urban centers.
The following license files are associated with this item: