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Understanding Filipino Rice Farmer Preference Heterogeneity for Varietal Trait Improvements: A Latent Class Analysis

Rio Maligalig, Matty Demont (), Wendy Umberger () and Alexandra Peralta

Journal of Agricultural Economics, 2021, vol. 72, issue 1, 134-157

Abstract: Using an experimental methodology based on investment games, we examine whether smallholder rice farmers from Nueva Ecija, Philippines have heterogeneous preferences for improvements in 10 rice varietal traits. We use a latent class cluster approach to identify different segments of rice producing households and their distinct preferences for trait improvements. These clusters were characterised post hoc using household, farm, and marketing characteristics. On average, farmers invested the most in rice varietal trait improvements that offered opportunities to reduce losses caused by lodging, insects and diseases. We found four classes of farmers with distinct preferences for improvements in variety traits. The clusters were significantly different in terms of household and farm characteristics. These findings can guide breeding research in the development of varieties that have the traits farmers identified for improvement, and that will address the unique needs of distinct farmer segments.

Date: 2021
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