Trust and consumers' willingness to pay for safe and certified safe vegetables in West African cities. A comparative analysis of Tamale, Ouagadougou, Bamenda and Bamako

UA Ruhr Studies on Development and Global Governance, Bd. 74

Christina Seeger

ISBN 978-3-8325-5308-1
213 pages, year of publication: 2021
price: 43.50 €
Smallholder farmers cultivating in West African cities often lack access to irrigation water and may use wastewater to irrigate their fields, particularly in the dry season. Wastewater contaminates vegetables with pathogens so that local consumers are likely to be exposed to health risks. Market data on consumers' actual payments for safety improved (= pathogen reduced) vegetables are not available in West Africa as vegetables differing in safety levels are sold, due to an information deficit on the consumers' side, at a uniform market price. Certification and repeated purchase experience may reduce these information deficits.

For both market signals to be effective, trust is required. This book analyses the role of trust in explaining consumers' maximum willingness to pay (WTP) for safe and certified safe food in a Hicksian framework. This theory is tested using household data (n = 2,662) generated from contingent valuation surveys undertaken in Tamale, Ouagadougou, Bamenda and Bamako. The findings show that local consumers are willing to pay substantially higher prices (+40% to +160%) for certified safe vegetables. They further suggest that trust in farmers and traders reduces WTP and trust in certifying institutions increases WTP for certified safe vegetables. Most WTPs were found to be construct valid. They are therefore taken as trustworthy expressions of consumers' preferences for safety improved vegetables. These results stress the need to introduce vegetable certification in West African cities.

Christina Seeger is currently a researcher at the Institute of Development Research and Development Policy, Ruhr University Bochum (RUB). Seeger also works at the Chair for Development Research at the RUB. She was a researcher in the UrbanFoodPlus project, initially as a PhD student and later as the coordinator of sub-project Economics. For her PhD thesis, presented in this book, she was on field research in West Africa for seven months collecting household data. Her research interests include applied welfare economics, food economics, agricultural economics and consumer behaviour.

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  • Willigness to pay
  • Contingent valuation method
  • Food safety
  • Food certification
  • West Africa


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