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Modelling smallholder farmers’ preferences for soil fertility management technologies in Benin: A stated preference approach

Segla Roch Cedrique Zossou, Patrice Ygue Adegbola, Brice Tiburce Oussou, Gustave Dagbenonbakin and Roch Mongbo

PLOS ONE, 2021, vol. 16, issue 6, 1-25

Abstract: The decline of soil fertility is a major constraint which results in lower levels of crop productivity, agricultural development and food security in Sub-Saharan Africa. This study is the first to perform a focalized investigation on the most interesting technological profiles to offer to each category of producers in Benin agricultural development hubs (ADHs) using the stated preference method, more precisely, the improved choice experiment method. The investigation focused on 1047 sampled plots from 962 randomly selected producers in villages of the Smallholder Agricultural Productivity Enhancement Program in Sub-Saharan Africa of the ADHs. An analysis of the experimental choice data with the endogenous attribute attendance and the latent class models was carried out to account for the attribute non-attendance phenomenon and the heterogeneity of the producers’ preferences. However, three classes of producer with different socio-economic, demographic, and soil physicochemical characteristics were identified. Thus, the heterogeneity of preferences was correlated with the attributes linked to the cost, sustainability, and frequency of plot maintenance. All producers, regardless of the ADHs, had a strong attachment to accessibility of technologies with short time restoration of soil fertility, and the ability to obtain additional benefits. These latest attributes, added to that relating to cost, tended to have a low probability of rejection in the decision-making process. These results have implications for local decision-makers facing the complex problem of resolving land degradation and local economic development challenges. The generalizability of these findings provides useful insight and direction for future studies in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0253412

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