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Characteristics of Fish Buyers Likely to Purchase Farm-Raised Tilapia in Honduras and Nicaragua 10PDVR1

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Characteristics of Fish Buyers Likely to Purchase Farm-Raised Tilapia in Honduras and Nicaragua

Product Diversification Research 1 (10PDVR1)/Study/Honduras and Nicaragua

Collaborating Institution
Escuela Agrícola Panamericana, Zamorano, Honduras
     Freddy Arias
     Dan Meyer

Universidad Centroamericana, Nicaragua
      Agnes Saborio

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
      Carole R. Engle

Objectives
1) Identify those characteristics and preferences of restaurants, supermarkets and open-air fish market vendors in Honduras and in Nicaragua that sell tilapia, those that used to sell tilapia, and those that never sold tilapia.

2) Identify those characteristics and preferences of restaurants, supermarkets and open-air fish market vendors in Honduras and in Nicaragua that are likely to add tilapia to their product lines.

Significance
Tilapia growers in Honduras and in Nicaragua have requested guidance identifying the most promising markets and in developing efficient marketing strategies. Small and medium-scale producers, in particular, do not have adequate resources to conduct market research and fewer resources to conduct advertising campaigns and to develop markets. Identification of very specific types of market outlets that are most likely to either sell more tilapia or to begin to sell tilapia would enable tilapia growers to minimize their marketing expenses by targeting those types of markets likeliest to purchase their products.

Discrete choice analysis using qualitative dependent variables has been shown to be an effective analytical tool in the analysis of perceptions and attitudes. While several studies have used these techniques in U.S. markets for aquaculture products, they have not been applied to Latin American markets for aquaculture products. Foltz et al. (1999) used discrete choice (both binary and multi-choice) techniques to show that individuals with an urban background and desiring nutritious, easy-to-prepare foods preferred fillets to whole-dressed trout. Engle and Kouka (1995) used discrete choice logit techniques to evaluate potential consumer acceptance of canned bighead carp in Arkansas. Probabilities estimated showed that canned bighead competed more favorably with canned tuna than with canned salmon. Income, region, and gender significantly affected perceptions. Gempesaw et al. (1995) used logit analysis to show that most decisions to purchase fresh seafood products for consumption were based on perceptions that products tasted good and added variety to the diet.

Quantified Anticipated Benefits
The primary direct beneficiaries of this study will be tilapia growers in Honduras and in Nicaragua. Small-scale growers, in particular, have struggled to develop markets without the benefit of comprehensive market information and of characteristics of particular market segments in Honduras and in Nicaragua. Small-scale growers have greater difficulty meeting the volume and sizing requirements of export markets and, thus, domestic markets are their primary market targets. Yet without guidance based on quantitative analyses, they will be required to expend considerable resources to identify market opportunities by trial and error. The results of this study will assist them to concentrate their limited marketing time and resources on those types of market channels that are likeliest to result in sales.

The Peruvian graduate student who will work on this project as part of his thesis research will benefit from acquiring advanced quantitative analytical skills. His training, in turn, will benefit Peru by increasing its human capital and building capacity in aquaculture marketing and analysis.

The PD/A CRSP will be a secondary beneficiary because improvements in market development will result in industry expansion that will allow for greater adoption and need for PD/A CRSP research results. The overall impact of the PD/A CRSP will be greater as the industry grows in Central America.

Research Design
Location of Work: This work will be done at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. This study will utilize the existing database to conduct the analyses and publish the results.

Methods
Database:

Quantitative Analysis:

Regional Integration
The regional plan for Central America refers specifically to planning and implementing marketing research activities in the region and for cooperation with the proposal PI. Research needs for tilapia culture in Central America refer specifically to market development.

Schedule
7/1/01 Initiate project.
4/30/02 Complete discrete choice analyses of restaurant data, Honduras and Nicaragua.
6/30/02 Complete discrete choice analyses of supermarket data, Honduras and Nicaragua.
12/30/02 Complete discrete choice analyses of open-air fish market vendors, Honduras and Nicaragua.
4/30/03 Final report submitted.

Literature Cited
Engle, C.R. and P.J. Kouka, 1995. Potential consumer acceptance for canned bighead carp: a structural model analysis. Marine Resource Economics, 10:101­116.

Gempesaw, C.M., J.R. Bacon, C.R. Wessels, and A. Manalo, 1995. Consumer perceptions of aquaculture products. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 77:1306­12.

Foltz, J., S. Dasgupta, and S. Devadoss, 2000. Consumer perceptions of trout as a food item. International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, 2(1):83­101.

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