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Consumers' willingness to pay for cabbage with minimized pesticide residues in southern Benin

Vidogbéna F., Adegbidi A., Tossou R., Assogba Komlan F., Martin T., Ngouajio M., Simon S., Parrot L., Zander K.K.. 2015. Environments, 2 (4) : p. 449-470.

DOI: 10.3390/environments2040449

Cabbage (Brassicaceae) is one of the most frequently consumed exotic vegetables in Benin and also the most affected by insects. To meet growing food demand, farmers rely heavily on synthetic pesticides that are harmful for themselves, consumers and the environment. Integrated pest management has been proposed as the means to improve vegetable productivity and quality in many developing countries. One approach is to substitute pesticides with physical barriers to insects, like nets. Here, we assess consumers' perceptions about cabbage and their purchasing behavior towards cabbage that was produced using these nets in two major cities in Benin. Results indicate that consumers are aware of the health risks associated with intensive use of pesticides but were not able to recognize the quality difference between cabbage produced under nets from those using pesticides. All consumers were willing to pay a price premium for cabbage with minimized pesticides residues compared with conventionally produced cabbage, the average premium being 38%. Women, older, highly educated consumers and those able to distinguish cabbage qualities were willing to pay the most. We suggest that farmers will obtain higher prices if their production of cabbage with preferred characteristics is accompanied by an improved marketing strategy.

Mots-clés : brassicaceae; brassica oleracea capitata; insecte nuisible; pesticide; gestion intégrée des ravageurs; consommateur; prix à la consommation; technique de vente; bénin

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