Trait preference trade-offs among maize farmers in western Kenya
Farmers inevitably make trade-offs when choosing which crop varieties to grow based on each variety’s unique strengths (and weaknesses). This study uses choice experiment data from 1288 maize farmers from western Kenya and applies a mixed logit model to estimate willingness to sacrifice yield as an experimental devise to measure such trade-offs when farmers are called upon to chose varieties with varying levels of desirable agronomic or consumption traits. We find that men and women respondents had similar preferences for maize traits, but differed in the rate of tradeoffs between traits. Women respondents appeared to make larger yield sacrifices for tolerance to drought, Striga weed and good storability than men. Men showed higher willingness to sacrifice yield for closed tip. Implications for gender-sensitive maize breeding and seed market development are drawn.