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Fuelwood or Grain? A Conjoint Analysis of Trait Preferences for Pigeonpea among Smallholders in Southern Malawi

T. Tsusaka, A. Orr, H. Msere, D. Harris and N. Vpr Ganga Rao

No 277435, 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia from International Association of Agricultural Economists

Abstract: An experimental study was conducted on pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan), an important grain legume in poverty-stricken Southern Malawi. Crop productivity has remained low primarily because of the stagnant adoption of improved varieties. However, within the last decade the non-improved variety Nthawajuni has been widely and rapidly adopted, with its popularity attributed to its early maturity and alleged higher stem biomass, used as fuelwood. By adapting conjoint design and analysis to producers case, the study attempted to unpack producers preferences for different traits by gender. The ordered probit and other regression models were estimated to identify the marginal effects of the six key traits on varietal scoring: crop yield, grain color, maturity period, stem production, disease resistance, and cooking time. Whilst the descriptive statistics confirmed the heavy reliance on stems for fuelwood, the results showed that the targeted producers valued high-yielding and disease-resistance traits most, with fuelwood the least important trait. The low marginal effect of stem biomass suggests that producers are satisfied with the current quantity of fuelwood they obtain from improved varieties. It is recommended that development of the next generation of pigeonpea varieties focus on yield-enhancing traits including disease resistance, while maintaining the current level of biomass in stems. Acknowledgement : The authors thank the CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Systems for funding the fieldwork. The CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes provided administrative support, where Drs. Moses Siambi and Patrick Okori approved the implementation. The team of field enumerators performed computer assisted personal interviews with women and men respondents from sampled households; namely, Esther Zidana, Dalitso Mpeketula, Ellen Zangewa, Gerald Kangombe, Thokozani Kamwala, James Mbughi, Emmanuel Nsangwa, and Kondwani N gon gola. The outcome of this research fits within the framework of the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions and Markets led by International Food Policy Research Institute.

Keywords: Crop; Production/Industries (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr
Date: 2018-07
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DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.277435

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