Inderscience Publishers

Emerging markets for GM foods: an Indian perspective on consumer understanding and the willingness to pay

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A random utility approach is used to estimate the logit equations which indicate what factors affect the likelihood of consumption of non-Genetically Modified (GM) and GM foods and whether or not consumers are willing to pay a premium for non-GM/GM foods. Ceteris paribus, as the price difference between non-GM and GM foods rises, people are more likely to consume GM foods. The likelihood of GM food consumption is higher in the middle income brackets. Consumers are willing to pay an expected premium of 19.5% and 16.12% for golden rice and GM edible oil, respectively. In the case of chicken, consumers seem to pay a very negligible premium for non-GM-fed chicken. Overall, it appears that GM foods may be acceptable in the Indian market. However, basic awareness about GM foods may have to be created among the consumers through government ministries, consumer interest groups and biotechnology food crop companies.

Keywords: GM markets, GM foods, golden rice, Bt cottonseed oil, edible oil, GM-fed chicken, willingness to pay, random utility approach, logit equations, India, genetic modification, genetically modified food

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