Improved Legume Seed Demand Systems in Central Malawi: What Do Farmers? Seed Expenditures Say About Their Preferences ? uri icon


  • The overall objective of this paper is to assess the demand for improved groundnut, bean, andsoybean seed in central Malawi. Specifically, it examines how smallholder farmers respond tochanges in market prices of improved legume seed. It also assesses factors that affect thedecision to participate in improved seed technology transfer. Considering four commoditiesnamely groundnuts, beans, soybeans and maize, a staple food, the paper estimates a multivariateprobit and a linear approximate of the Almost Ideal Demand System (LA/AIDS) using crosssection data collected by ICRISAT in 2010. Uncompensated price and expenditure elasticitiesare reported for the LA/AIDS model. The paper finds high own price elasticities in all fourcommodities considered. It also indicates that land, household size and education levels affectparticipation in improved technology. Cross elasticities varied across the commoditiesconsidered. As pertain expenditure elasticities, farmers would increase expenditure on improvedgroundnut and beans if their incomes increased. The results also reveal that if farmers? incomesincrease they would reduce soybean?s expenditure share. The results generally show that farmersare very sensitive to changes in improved legume seed prices and incomes

publication date

  • 2012