Date of Graduation

5-2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Agricultural Economics (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness

Advisor

Lawton Lanier Nalley

Committee Member

Alvaro Durand-Morat

Second Committee Member

Aaron Shew

Keywords

open bag rice market, consumer preferences, import standards, food insecurity, broken rice, rice exports, Hedonic Price Model

Abstract

Weaknesses in the grades and standards system in low-income countries across Sub-Saharan Africa undermine the transparency of agricultural markets. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ghana and Mozambique rice is predominately sold in open bags and if rice price does not reflect its quality, then inefficiencies may lead to consumer welfare losses. Importantly, it is possible that impoverished communities are priced out of the market due to inflated and inefficient prices. The objective of this study is to examine determinates of rice price by estimating the impact of selected rice quality attributes on rice prices in DRC, Ghana and Mozambique.We collected 363 rice samples from open air markets in Bukavu (DRC), Nampula (Mozambique) and across Ghana in 2019. Each rice sample was analyzed in a food science lab for the quality attributes: percentage of chalk and brokens, chalk impact, length, and width. We used multiple regression analysis to estimate if and to what extent quality attributes were the drivers of price. Findings suggest that there are irregularities in the Ghanaian market for broken rice and that regardless of quality, imported rice is priced higher than domestic rice. In the DRC and Mozambique, our results indicate price is driven by length and width in the former and width in the latter. These results provide valuable insight to policy makers regarding the need for proper labeling and regulation of open bag rice sales in an effort to increase consumer welfare and improve food security.

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