Assessing willingness to pay for improved Narocass 2 cassava variety in Busukuma sub-county, Wakiso district
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Cassava is an important root crop from local consumption to industrial uses. Despite its importance, cassava production is affected by many biotic to abiotic constraints, which have reduced yield, despite an increased area of production. In an attempt to mitigate these biotic and abiotic constraints, breeding programs of cassava have developed cassava varieties tolerant or resistant to these environmental stresses. The use of improved cassava is, therefore, one way of improving the productivity of cassava. However, scanty information exists on farmer perceptions and willingness to pay (WTP) for improved cassava. This study was carried out to understand farmer perceptions and estimate willingness to pay for NAROCASS 2. A total of 60 respondents (35 females and 25 males) were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. A single bounded dichotomous choice model of contingent valuation was used. Results indicated that farmers were already growing at least one improved variety including NAROCASS 2. Farmer perception towards NAROCASS 2 between farmers who currently plant improved cassava varieties and those who don’t were significantly different (P = 0.019). farmer perception of improved varieties was similar or different. For instance, 58.3% of the farmers agreed that improved cassava varieties increase productivity while 6.7% disagreed, yet 3.3% neither agreed nor disagreed. The major reason for growing improved varieties was higher yields. Farmers generally liked improved cassava varieties and were significantly (P < 0.001) willing to pay for them. The mean estimate of WTP was 15,000 shillings. Over ninety per cent (94.4%) of the farmers are therefore willing to pay for NAROCASS 2 at the price of their local variety. As a recommendation, farmer perceptions towards improved varieties of crops, and other agricultural technologies should be considered in the adoption of such technology by farmers. In addition, improved cassava varieties, for example, NAROCASS 2 can be promoted among other farmers, in regions where they are only growing local varieties to improve productivity of their cassava.