Consumers’ willingness to pay for safe buka foods: A case study of workers in Nigeria tertiary institutions

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Abstract

The rising demand for food quality as well as the crisis of food safety in recent years is increasing consumers’ consciousness of the safety of food they consume. This study analysed the willingness of workers in tertiary institutions to pay for safe buka foods using the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta as a case study. The Contingency Valuation Method (CVM) was used to assess the Willingness-To-Pay (WTP) of a total of 250 members of staff in the University including teaching and non-teaching sampled for the study. The respondents’ were selected using a multistage simple random sampling technique. Data were collected with the aid of a structured questionnaire and analysed using descriptive statistics, and logit regression model. The study found that majority of the respondents’ are still within the economically active age group with a mean age of 40 years. The respondents have spent an average length of 7 years working in the University. The commuting time between the respondents’ home and the University is more than 30 min. Almost half of the respondents (46.8%) perceived foods from buka to be very unsafe for consumption. More than half (69.2%) of the respondents confirmed to have had food related ailments among which 57.8% were able to trace the ailment back to the buka foods they ate. An appreciable number of the respondents (83.2%) were willing to pay for the safety of buka foods with a mean WTP of ₦32.5 ($0.16) per plate on any of the buka foods reflecting the prevailing situations in Nigeria and valid exchange rates at the time the data were collected in 2015. The logit regression analysis revealed that bid amount, income, household size and commuting time were the significant factors influencing the probability of respondents’ WTP for buka foods safety. The study concludes that WTP for safe buka foods among the respondents is positive and recommends that the government through her regulatory agencies should help to enforce the necessary standards procedures that buka foods operators will follow to ensure the safety procedures. Buka foods operators on the other hands should abide to the set standards as consumers are willing to pay more to ensure that they consume safe food. The respondents should also be encouraged to maintain small household size so that they will be able to pay more for the safety offoods they consume as smaller household size tends to reduce their financial responsibility.

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