This study analyzes the market potential of the underutilized indigenous Morama (Tylosema esculentum) products by determining the consumers’ preferences and willingness to pay. Simple random sampling was used to select 372 respondents to participate in the cross-sectional survey. Contingent valuation method was used to determine the customers’ willingness to pay and the two-step Heckman selection model was employed to analyze the factors that influence the willingness to pay for the different Morama products. The majority of the respondents were knowledgeable of Morama and its product; consequently 84% showed interest in purchasing products developed from Morama. About 90% were willing to purchase Morama oil whereas 87% were willing to purchase Morama butter at least twice a month and 82% would be willing to buy Morama snack bar at least three times a month. The results indicate that Morama products have the potential to penetrate the market and hence can be used to improve both the standard of living for rural communities and household food security and thus alleviate poverty. The mean willingness to pay for Morama oil and butter are comparable to the conventional product, indicating that these products have good market prospects and can compete and potentially substitute the current products if domesticated and commercialised.
Key words: Morama, market prospects, willingness to pay, consumers’ preferences, two-step Heckman selection model, contingent valuation.
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