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The Value of a Nutritionally Enhanced Staple Crop: Results from a Choice Experiment Conducted with Orange-fleshed Sweet Potatoes in Mozambique

A number of strategies have been proposed to reduce nutritional deficiencies in developing countries. In this paper, we investigated the extent to which consumers in Mozambique would be willing to consume new varieties of orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (OFSPs), which are rich in vitamin A, relative to the traditionally consumed white sweet potato varieties. Using data from a choice experiment administered in person with sweet potato shoppers, we find consumers are willing to pay premiums for OFSPs if they can be produced to possess eating quality similar to traditional varieties. Although consumers prefer orange flesh to the white, dry matter content was the most important quality attribute. Thus, for the nutritional benefits of the new varieties to be realised, plant-breeding programmes should focus on improving the dry matter content of the new orange flesh varieties. Finally, our results indicate that preferences for OFSPs are influenced by information about nutritional benefits, whether the questioning format provided incentives for people to think carefully about their responses, and whether people resided in urban or rural locations.

About Abdul Taiobo A. Naico