Consumer acceptability and willingness to pay for introduced dessert bananas
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The study was done in three countries including Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda. In Uganda, two districts namely Kampala, an urban district and Luwero (Bamunanika sub-county) a district dominated by rural farming communities were sampled. In Kenya, the largest banana market in Nairobi City (Wakulima market) and in Rwanda, two large markets dealing in bananas (Kibisagara and Nyamirambo) were sampled. The study assessed the consumer acceptability and willingness to pay for introduced dessert bananas in Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda. Data comprising of sensory evaluation, prices consumers would be willing to pay, actual market prices paid, on farm gate prices farmers received and socioeconomic and dessert attributes that affect willingness to pay for the introduced dessert banana varieties were collected and analyzed using t- test and a hedonic pricing model respectively. Results indicated that all the three introduced dessert bananas were acceptable by consumers on local and regional markets though rated inferior to Gros Michel. All the sensory attributes of KABANA 3H and KABANA 4H were acceptable to consumers in the local and regional markets. The results further suggested that generally consumers were only willing to pay lower prices for introduced dessert bananas than Gros Michel. At least 50% of the consumers were willing to pay over Ug shs1,000 per average cluster compared Ug shs 1180.7 for Gros Michel. On the Ugandan market, customers paid over Ug shs 800= per cluster, a price close to that of Gros Michel (average of Ug shs 1190), while on the regional market, the prices customer paid for the introduced dessert bananas were not different from that paid for Gros Michel, indicating a promising market potential for the introduced dessert banana. The hedonic pricing models indicated that some of the socio-economic characteristics like education, household size, income and dessert banana attributes like taste, skin colour significantly influenced the willingness to pay for these bananas. It is concluded that, the three introduced dessert bananas have a high market potential. It is recommended that market development activities including organizing and training farmers in better methods of growing, handling bananas for both local and export markets; and promotional studies of the introduced dessert bananas among the urban consumers to widen their demand be done.