Analysis of consumer preferences for cowpea varieties in Osun State using Hedonic pricing approach
The study described the socio-economic characteristics of consumers, identified cowpea varieties, their attributes and willingness to pay (WTP) for each variety and determined the factors that influence WTP for cowpea varieties in the Osun State Analysis of consumer preferences for cowpea varieties in Osun State with a view to identifying attributes that determine price variation among cowpea varieties in the study area. Multi stage sampling technique was used to randomly select 210 respondents from the study area: 180 consumers and 30 retailers.In the first stage, six Local Government Areas (LGAs) were purposively selected due to their high population density. Second stage, three towns were randomly selected in each of the LGAs. At the third stage,a random selection of 10 households in each town was done. A total of 180 households were sampled. In addition, 5 cowpea retailers were randomly selected from each LGA making a total of 210 respondents. This sample size was used for the study because of the time and financial constraint. Primary data were collected on socio-economic characteristics, household income, awareness and perception of consumers about cowpea varieties and willingness to pay and attributes of cowpea varieties with the use of structured questionnaire. Data collected were analysed using both descriptive and regression analysis. The results of the descriptive analysis showed that majority (97.8%) of household are male headed and fall between the ages of 31 and 50. The consumers had an average of five household members and household average monthly income of ₦86,642 (US$ 275 at $1 = ₦315). Most of the respondents (85%) acquired formal basic education. Thirteen varieties of cowpea were found. The varieties are Gombe, Drum, Olo, Oloka, Sokoto, Milk, Wuwo, Oloyin, Jibia, Otili, Ife brown, Ife bimpe and Feregede but only the first nine varieties were common in the market. The quality of each variety differs which explained variation in their price. Majority of consumers (85.6%) purchased 5kg of cowpea and below per week while many of them (63%) made dishes from cowpea three to four times per week. Majority (80%) are aware of more than five varieties of cowpea. The Oloyin variety was mostly preferred by 78% of the consumers. Weevil tolerance was the highest ranked among the cowpea attributes with the score of 2139. Oloyin had the highest WTP followed by Milk and Drum with ₦303.40, ₦237.70 and ₦213.74 per kg respectively. Hedonic pricing method which provides a statistical estimate of premiums and discounts for cowpea attributes. Results indicated that weevil resistance was the most important attribute. Cowpeas with weevil damage tolerance, brown colour, large grain size and short cooking time command price premium for almost all the varieties. The consumers discount prices for insect damage, small size, white colour, smooth skin and grain colour mixed together. The study concluded that consumers preferred cowpea varieties with weevil damage resistance, brown colour, large grain size and short cooking time.