Soybean is a food crop with a growing interest in Benin. This study aims to provide insight about the main quality characteristics of the grain preferred by small-scale soy processors and the main socio-economic factors which drive their preferences. 116 small-scale processors related to three main soy food products - “Soy Amon” (soy cheese), “Soy Afitin” (soya fermented condiment) and “soymilk” - were asked to express their preferences about important soybean grain properties regarding their activity. Collected data were processed using a conjoint based preference analysis. “Density of the grain” appears to be an important quality criterion for the processors, whatever the soybean food produced. Less important attributes are “use of inoculant”, “use of fertilizer”, “soybean production origin”, “soybean provider”, depending on the soy food produced. Moreover, soy Afitin producers dislike soy grain distributed by “individual farmers” and prefer “support organization" as providers, in contrast to soy cheese and soymilk producers. Regarding the social and economic factors influencing the processors’ preferences for grain provided by farmers, processors whose main activity is “merchant” are probably not favorable to soy sold by farmers and the higher the purchase frequency is, the more the processor is likely to buy soy from farmers.
Key words: Soybean, grain, small-scale processing, preferences, criteria, conjoint analysis.
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