HarvestPlus introduced vitamin A biofortified yellow cassava in Western D.R. Congo in 2011 to improve the vitamin A status of women and children, who are most vulnerable to vitamin A deficiency. To expand the benefit from rural producers/consumers to urban consumers, a consumer acceptance study was conducted in Kinshasa and Bas Congo provinces to determine if urban consumers like and demand the biofortified foods. This study investigates the major factors behind consumersâ willingness-to-pay in each location and among the target groups. The study findings will inform the design of targeted marketing and promotional strategies that can engender urban demand-pull for biofortified crops.
A willingness-to-pay index was created to standardize consumer responses based on the food that received the maximum willingness-to-pay for each consumer, leading to the utilization of a Tobit model.
The results show that consumers in the Kinshasa markets have a higher willingness-to-pay for biofortified foods than the conventional foods whether or not they like the food. However, consumers in other markets showed a higher willingness-to-pay for the biofortified food only if they liked it. Additionally it was found that women were willing to pay more than men for biofortified foods if they prefer the biofortified food to its conventional counterpart.
Providing information about the nutritional benefits of vitamin A biofortified yellow cassava is essential to engendering demand for the food made with these varieties by urban consumers. Efforts to inform women, in particular, could increase the demand for these nutritious foods.