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Tobias Gourlay


West African consumers value organics

Researchers find large majority of shoppers in Benin and Ghana willing to pay more for pesticide-free fresh produce

West African consumers value organics

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A paper published in the International Journal of Vegetable Science suggests consumers in Benin and Ghana are prepared to pay a premium for organic fruit and vegetables because they are aware of the health problems caused by exposure to synthetic pesticides.

Researchers from Benin and the UK surveyed 100 people shopping for cabbages and tomatoes, finding that 95 per cent of consumers in Benin and 86 per cent in Ghana were happy to pay a price more than 50 per cent higher for organic produce.

Ninety per cent of those questioned in Ghana and 70 per cent in Benin claimed to be aware of the health hazards surrounding synthetic pesticides, but just 20 per cent of Ghanaian respondents and 25 per cent of Beninese said they knew about organic pesticides.

Talking to, Ousmane Coulibaly, an agricultural economist at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Benin and co-author of the study, said: "Once they're aware of health risks related to the consumption of synthetic pesticide-treated vegetables, consumers are ready to pay a bit more money for organic products."

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