Awareness and Willingness to Pay for Moringa as a Leafy Vegetable in Limpopo Province
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Moringa has been used to fight against malnutrition in developing countries as a result of its high nutrient content. The move to use Moringa was seen as both feasible and effective. However, it is not commonly consumed as a vegetable in the South African diet, except by particular ethnic groups. The study objectives were to investigate awareness and willingness to pay (WTP) for Moringa as a leafy vegetable. The study used data from 160 respondents from the Limpopo Province, South Africa. The respondents were selected with multi-stage sampling technique. Data were analysed with descriptive statistics, Bivariate Probit Regression and Tobit Regression Model. The results indicated that the majority of the respondents had no idea that Moringa could be consumed as a leafy vegetable. However, the results also indicated that the majority of respondents were willing to pay (WTP) an average of R34.37 for the vegetable. Descriptive statistics indicated that the majority of respondents were females (73 .80%), single (43.75%) and Xitsonga (50%) native speakers. The results of the Bivariate Probit Regression model showed that factors that were found to statistically influence awareness were district (p<0.01), preference (p<0.10), certification (p<0. l 0) and labelling (p<0.05). Those that were found to statistically influence willingness to pay (WTP) were occupation (p<0.01), income (p<0.01), gender (p<0.05), district (p<0.01), preference (p<0.01), perception (p<0.01), freshness (p<0.01), health benefits (p<0.01) and bunch size (p<0.05). The results of the Tobit Regression model showed that factors that were found to statistically influence the bids were household size, years consuming moringa, married and freshness. The household size, years consuming moringa and freshness were significant at p<0.05. Being married was significant at p<0.01. Given these findings, Moringa consumption should be promoted among rural households in order to address the malnutrition problem in South Africa.