Factors affecting trader preferences for beans in Zambia
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Studies on preferences in developing countries remain poorly understood because little research has been done to ascertain their impact on trader level incomes and economic development. Trader choice studies are of great importance in improving both the welfare of traders and increasing food security through efficient marketing and as a means of reducing poverty. Despite this knowledge, the main challenge is how to helpincrease income levels of traders and also how to reduce the transaction costs they face in the market. The overall objective of this study was to identify factors that affecttrader preferences for beans and their effect on specific beans varieties. This study used the Probit model to analyze factors that affect trader choices for beans varieties with as sample size of 278 for both beans and cowpea traders. The estimation of the Probit model was done by using the beans varietyoptions as dependent variables and factors such as human capital, physical capital, beans coat color, level of trust, level of insects, minimum level of damage, farm-gate price, other beans varieties and grain size were used as independent variables. The results indicated that the key factors which positively influence the choice of beans varieties are;physical assets: ownership of a car (p-value=0.015) for Lundazi beans, ownership of a television (p-value=0.007) for Solwezi beans, coat color of beans (p-value=0.002; 0.002) for Lusaka and Solwezi beans respectively, level of trust (p-value=0.081) for Lundazi beans, other variety type (p-value=0.006) for Solwezi beans, low levels of pests, insects and diseases (p-value=0.006) for Solwezi beans. Also, the results indicated that the factors that negatively influence the choice of ordering beans varieties are: level of education (p-value=0.049) for Lusaka beans, farm-gate price (p-value=0.082; 0.012) for White and Yellow and Lundazi beans respectively and grain size (p-value=0.000; 0.000) for Lusaka and Solwezi beans respectively. Based on the above findings, there is need to invest in infrastructure, institutions, education, and provides loans to expand traders businesses. Concerted effort is also needed for the government to work hand in hand with research institutions to develop varieties with characteristics that are preferred by traders and consumers. There is need also to form coordinated linkages through Market Associations to enhance trusts and mutual relationships between traders and farmers.
The University of Zambia
- Agriculture