Economic analysis of Ethiopian farmers' preferences for crop variety traits: a choice experiment approach

Kerstin Zander, Sinafikeh Asrat Gemessa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Ethiopia has immense wealth of crop genetic resources, which is due to its diverse agro-ecology and cultural diversity.The country’s genetic resources are, however, subject to serious erosion and irreversible losses due to policy, institutional and market failures. This study aims to contribute to a better understanding of the challenges with bearings on the sustainable management of crop genetic diversity through analysing farmers’ crop variety attribute preferences and identifying the key socio-economic factors that condition their attribute preferences.The study applied a choice experiment (CE) method to elicit preferences and estimate the relative importance of the attributes in defining the perceived utility to be derived from four traits of sorghum and teff varieties, the two major food crops in the
country (as a source of staple food for many parts of the country, teff, an annual grass, is primarily grown to prepare Ethiopian bread known as ‘injera’, porridge and some native alcoholic drinks).The attributes included selling price, productivity, environmental adaptability (resistance to drought, poor soil and frost
occurrences) and yield stability of the variety despite occurrences of disease and pest problems. The analysis of farmers’ preferences was based on primary data collected from farmers growing 131 teff and sorghum in the northeastern part of Ethiopia. Farm households attached the highest private value to the environmental adaptability trait of both sorghum and teff crops. This was followed by yield ES_EMCDO_25-10 1/11/10 10:12 Page 25
stability and productivity attributes of the same crops. The results also reveal that differences between farm households, in terms of household characteristics, their endowments and constraints, and the level of development integration (in the areas of basic infrastructure and agricultural extension) affect farmers’ private valuation of crop variety attributes. Based on the empirical results, the chapter
derives policy implications in the areas of on-farm conservation and improved variety use in Ethiopia.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Economics of Managing Crop Diversity On-Farm
Subtitle of host publicationCase Studies from the Genetic Resources Policy Initiative
EditorsEdilegnaw Wale, Adam G. Drucker, Kerstin K. Zander
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-84971-222-4
ISBN (Print)978-184977564-9, 978-1-84971-221-7
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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