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Contingent valuation of fresh produce obtained through integrated pest management: The case of the potato in Argentina

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Authors: María Victoria Lacaze
Issue: 110-1 (102-118)
Topic: Agricultural Economics
Keywords: Willingness-to-pay, food safety, fresh potatoes, Heckit, Turnbull

The objective of the article is to identify those factors underlying the intention to buy a top quality fresh potato obtained through an integrated pest-production management, in order to quantify the hypothetical valuation that Argentinean consumers would give to it. Data come from a 500-household stratified random sample in Mar del Plata city, which were surveyed in June, 2009. The Contingent Valuation Method has been applied to elicit consumers’ preferences and a two-stage econometric model which corrects for selection bias is estimated. A sample mean of WTP is calculated by employing a nonparametric method. The availability of the integrated fresh potato would increase consumers’ welfare in 12.9 estratimillion of pesos per year. The results of the study indicate a relationship between information available to consumers who work or study and their ability to appreciate the integrated production system benefits. While the content of agrochemicals residues in food would not seem to be a concern for those consumers who are willing to pay more for acquiring the integrated potato, they are interested in the connection between food nourishment and health care. They also believe that fresh potato price appropriately signals its quality.

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