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Are maize marketers averse to quality loss in supplies? A case study from Ghana

Bassey, Nkoyo Etim, Kuhn, Arnim, Storm, Hugo
Agricultural economics 2018 v.49 no.5 pp. 649-658
case studies, corn, farmers, infrastructure, markets, postharvest losses, prices, surveys, Ghana
To ensure sustainable post‐harvest loss reduction, markets that are averse to quality loss and provide incentives for farmers to supply high quality produce are crucial. Such markets will be averse to quality loss, offering distinct prices and substantial rewards to farmers for the supply of quality produce. Farmers in sub‐Saharan Africa (SSA), where informal markets exist, have often assessed the rewards for the supply of quality produce as inadequate. Hence, this study investigates if intermediary buyers are actually indifferent to quality loss in supplies based on two scenarios—the informal market scenario and a hypothesized grade scenario. The analysis builds on survey data from marketers in two informal maize markets in Ghana. For the hypothesized grade scenario, random effect regression was used to examine the influence of marketer‐specific characteristics on premiums offered to farmers over different quality levels. The findings suggest that although informal markets seem not to adequately value loss reduction, investing in institutional infrastructures, such as grades and standards can change this. Furthermore, interaction among marketers and association participation positively influences the value marketers place on quality loss reduction. The result highlights the importance of standard grading systems and collaborating with market groups in minimizing quality loss.