Consumer preferences for common dry beans in Lusaka, Zambia

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Zulu, Mabvuto .F.
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The University of Zambia
Development of improved beans varieties that meet consumer choice has been one of the focus areas of many researchers in the Sub-Saharan Africa. In Zambia, various research institutions such as the University of Zambia (UNZA), Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI) and private institutions have implemented various projects that aim at producing improved beans varieties/land races. These research efforts have resulted in the release of different beans varieties with varying characteristics in terms of grain size, color, cooking time and gravy quality etc. These characteristics are important and may affect consumer perception and choice for beans. However, despite the important role that these characteristics may have on consumer choice for beans, little information is available about Zambian consumers and choice for beans characteristics. Therefore, the objective of this study was to analyze the effects of common dry bean grain characteristics on consumer choice. Data for the study was obtained from the Grain Legume Innovation Lab project that implemented a survey in 2015 on 844 respondents in the seven constituencies of Lusaka district. Conditional logistic regression model was used to analyze stated preference data from a discrete choice experiment module of the survey. The results reveal that color, cooking time and gravy quality are important characteristics which significantly affect consumer choice of common dry beans. For example, it was observed that consumers have a strong and significant preference for purple bean variety followed by a mixed yellow bean type. Compared to fast cooking beans, an individual‘s utility would reduce if given a slow cooking bean variety. Furthermore, an individual‘s utility would reduce if given a bean variety with poor gravity quality. Despite having positive signs, the coefficients for grain size were insignificant entailing that bean grain size is not important to a consumer. It is therefore recommended that policies targeting varietal beans improvement efforts in Zambia should categorically state the inclusion and consideration of most preferred beans attributes. Key Words: Consumer, attributes, preferences, choice experiment, conditional logit
Consumer--Choice experiment-- Conditional logit , Beans varieties , Beans --production , Beans --Varieties--Zambia