Economic assessment of losses due to fruit fly infestation in mango and the willingness to pay for an integrated pest management package in Embu district, Kenya

Mango production is a major form of income generation for Kenyan large and small-scale farmers. However, it is confronted with the major threat of fruit fly infestation which causes reduction of quality and quantity of marketable fruit resulting to considerable produce losses. New and cheaper methods to reduce fruit fly infestation levels in mango production have been developed, but farmers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for them is not known. First, this study was conducted in Embu district, and it aimed to examine the magnitude of losses caused by fruit flies at the farm level via rejections during harvest using descriptive analysis and seeks to determine farmer and farm-level factors influencing the variation of these losses among mango producers using a simple robust regression technique. Secondly, a survey based on contingent valuation was conducted to obtain the maximum amount of money that mango farmers were willing to pay for an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) fruit fly control package if it is released in the market. Using a logistic regression model the study then investigated factors influencing the probability that farmers would be willing to pay a pre-determined seasonal cost of KES 1100 per acre for the package. The model was estimated using data collected from 240 mango growing farmers selected using multistage and proportionate to size random sampling procedures.