Date of Award

8-2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Applied Economics and Statistics

Advisor

Boys, Kathryn KB

Committee Member

Hammig , Mike MH

Committee Member

Curtis , Charles CC

Committee Member

Willis , David DW

Abstract

ABSTRACT
With the intent of improving agricultural revenues and solidifying her place as an eco-tourism destination, it has been proposed that the island nation of The Commonwealth of Dominica convert all agricultural activities to organic production. To meet this challenge from the supply perspective, training of farmers in organic production practices has already begun. It remains, however, to quantify the potential demand for organically produced products. With this information in hand, appropriate producer support and marketing programs could be developed that would help to promote the production and consumption of Dominica‟s organic outputs and would propel Dominica toward its desired status of a model ,,Organic Island‟.
Broadly it is the purpose of this project is to explore Dominica‟s current and potential domestic demand for organic and/or locally grown fruit and vegetables. Surveys were conducted with 200 Dominican consumers to assess their opinions and willingness-to-pay (WTP) for these products. Descriptive and binomial logistic regression analyses were used to evaluate survey data. Overall this study found that, on average, Dominican consumers are willing to pay a slight margin (~3.1%) for organic and locally grown produce. These results, however, were found to vary significantly across various segments of the sampled population; education, ethnicity, marital status, and consumer opinion regarding the country of origin of food and the environmental impacts of chemicals were found to be important determinants WTP. Based on results from this study it appears that should organic produce become more widely available, some population segments will demand and be willing to pay for these products. Results from this analysis suggest that, from the perspective of domestic consumers, Dominica should continue to exploring the possibility of becoming an 'Organic Island.'
Keywords: contingent valuation, willingness to pay, Caribbean, organic, locally grown

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