URBAN CONSUMER WILLINGNESS TO PAY FOR INTRODUCED DESSERT BANANAS IN UGANDA J.MUGISHA,K. AKANKWASA,W.TUSHEMEREIRWE and P. RAGAMA Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) P.O. Box 7065, Kampala, Uganda (Received 18 January, 2009; accepted 2 June, 2009) ABSTRACT
Dessert bananas (Musa spp.) form one of the world’s most important fruits, yet one of the least traded commodities in Uganda. A range of exotic and hybrid dessert bananas that included KABANA 3H and KABANA 4H were introduced in Uganda in response to Fusarium wilt disease that was wiping away Gros Michel. However, the effect of dessert attributes and consumer characteristics on consumers’ willingness to pay for these new bananas among the urban consumers was not known. This study was undertaken to determine awareness of the introduced dessert bananas among urban consumers, and the effect of introduced dessert banana attributes and consumer characteristics on willingness to pay for the introduced desert bananas. Results indicated that urban consumers had low awareness on the introduced dessert banana varieties. Similarly the introduced dessert bananas were acceptable to consumers though rated inferior to Gros Michel. All the sensory attributes of KABANA 3H and KABANA 4H were acceptable to urban consumers. Results from the hedonic pricing Models further suggested that taste, skin color and texture had significant effect on the consumer willingness to pay for new dessert banana varieties. It is concluded that, the three introduced dessert bananas are acceptable and therefore have a market potential. It is recommended that market development activities including organizing and training farmers in improved agronomic methods, handling bananas for local markets; and promotional studies of the introduced dessert bananas among the urban consumers be done to widen their demand. Key Words: Fusarium wilt, Gros Michel, hedonic model, Musa spp. Full paper contact Dr Kenneth at
The vast majority of the bananas currently grown and consumed were not conventionally bred but are selections made over probably thousands of years from naturally occurring hybrids. Cultivated bananas are very nearly sterile and as a consequence are not propagated from seed but rather through vegetative propagation, primarily suckers as well as more recently micropropagated or tissue cultured bananas. These factors, very old selections, near sterility and vegetative propagation, mean that these bananas have not been genetically improved either for resistance or improved quality and are becoming increasing in affected by serious pests and diseases.
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