Economic Feasibility of a Biological Control Cottage Industry in Niger

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Date
2016-09-15
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Publisher
Virginia Tech
Abstract

This study evaluates the economic feasibility of a biological control industry in Niger. Farmers in the Sahel region of Niger are vulnerable to high millet yield losses due to the millet head miner, and their pest control options are extremely limited. Researchers have begun to support small businesses which sell a beneficial insect (Habrobracon Hebetor) that is very effective in limiting millet yield losses due to the millet head miner. This study discusses a wide range of questions related to the economic prospects of these businesses using two main analytical methods, an economic feasibility assessment and an econometric analysis. The economic feasibility assessment provides budget analysis for the potential businesses and discusses business options for scaling, price setting, and organizing. A central question in this analysis is whether farmers can cooperatively purchase beneficial insects as a means of preventing free-riding. With free-riding as a prominent concern for businesses, this study also provides an econometric analysis of the factors that affect farmer's willingness-to-pay for beneficial insects.

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Keywords
Niger, economic feasibility assessment, biological control, millet
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