American Journal of Rural Development
ISSN (Print): 2333-4762 ISSN (Online): 2333-4770 Website: Editor-in-chief: Chi-Ming Lai
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American Journal of Rural Development. 2017, 5(3), 73-80
DOI: 10.12691/ajrd-5-3-3
Open AccessArticle

Smallholder Farmers’ Willingness to Pay for Improved Cookstoves in Dedza, Malawi

Emily McNulty1, , Thea Nielsen1 and Manfred Zeller1

1Rural Development Theory and Policy, Hans-Ruthenberg Institute, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart 70593, Germany

Pub. Date: May 17, 2017

Cite this paper:
Emily McNulty, Thea Nielsen and Manfred Zeller. Smallholder Farmers’ Willingness to Pay for Improved Cookstoves in Dedza, Malawi. American Journal of Rural Development. 2017; 5(3):73-80. doi: 10.12691/ajrd-5-3-3


As improved cookstove programs increase in popularity, policy makers need accurate estimates of their constituents’ willingness to pay for the stoves. Knowing which socioeconomic factors affect willingness to pay will allow program planners to price and target the stoves effectively. This study elicits the willingness to pay of 300 rural Malawians in Dedza District for two types of stove and explores the determinant socioeconomic factors. Respondents were willing to pay a median price of 7 USD for a clay stove and 9 USD for a rocket stove. In the clay stove regression model, willingness to pay is positively correlated with dietary diversity and negatively correlated with fuel expenditure. In the rocket stove regression model, willingness to pay is positively correlated with net household income and dietary diversity, and negatively correlated with higher incidence of cooking-related ailments. A literature review reveals that because of the discrepancy between short-term and long-term impacts of improved cookstove adoption, the focus of stove programs should be sustained, proper stove use by adopters, not just dissemination. Positive impact estimates are inflated when only short-term adoption data and laboratory fuel test results are used; more long-term impact evaluations are needed. Further, the study of socioeconomic determinants of stove adoption alone is inadequate for a self-sustaining, unsubsidized improved cookstove market. Choice elicitation experiment studies on product-specific attributes, that is stove characteristics, should complement socioeconomic findings to determine what is most desired by the target market.

improved cookstove willingness to pay chitetezo mbaula rocket stove

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