Consumer Acceptance of Biofortified Iron Beans in Rural Rwanda: Experimental Evidence

Type Working Paper - HarvestPlus Working Paper
Title Consumer Acceptance of Biofortified Iron Beans in Rural Rwanda: Experimental Evidence
Issue 18
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Iron deficiency among children and women of child-bearing age is a public health problem in many developing
countries. Iron-biofortified varieties of commonly consumed staple crops have the potential to contribute to the daily
iron requirements in diets. This paper examines consumer acceptance and willingness to pay (WTP) for two iron bean
varieties in Rwanda: red iron bean (RIB) and white iron bean (WIB). Using the Becker-DeGroot-Marshak mechanism,
the paper investigates the effect of (1) nutrition information; (2) informa tion frame (i.e., information emphasizing loss
or negative consequences of not having enough iron in diets versus information emphasizing gains or benefits of having
enough iron in diets); and, (3) the frequency of providing the information on consumer WTP for iron bean varieties.
Econometric models are used that take into account several issues, such as social interaction, non-payment effect, and
home inventory of beans.
Results indicate that in the absence of information about the nutritional benefits of the two iron bean varieties, consumers
are willing to pay a large premium for the RIB variety, but not for the WIB variety, relative to the local variety. The nutrition
information provided has a significantly positive effect on the premium for each of the iron bean varieties. Results also
indicate that the effects of how the information is framed (i.e., loss versus gain messaging) on this premium are not
statistically significant. However, providing the nutrition information three times versus once significantly increases
consumer demand for the WIB variety. These findings could inform the design of efficient delivery and marketing
strategies for iron bean varieties in Rwanda.

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