DETERMINANTS OF AWARENESS AND WILLINGNESS TO PAY FOR MORINGA LEAVE AS VEGETABLE IN SOUTH WEST NIGERIA
Moringa oleifera is a nutritious tree plant that has several uses. Moringa leaves contain Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Potassium, and it has good quality protein. Moringa leave could be used in treating malnutrition. It also contains antioxidants which could help in treating certain diseases. This study examined the factors influencing awareness and willingness to pay for moringa. A multistage sampling procedure was used in selecting the respondents. Data were analyzed using Recursive Bivariate Probit Model. The result shows that mean age of respondents was 44 years and the mean household size was 5. The result further revealed that 80.5 percent of the respondents were aware of moringa while 80.1 percent were willing to pay for moringa. The result of the model of awareness of moringa revealed that awareness increases willingness to pay for moringa (p<0.01). The factors that influences awareness were age and occupation of the respondents, knowledge of the nutritive benefits of moringa, perception of respondents that moringa vegetable is too expensive and respondents preference for other vegetable while the factors that influences willingness to pay for moringa were occupation of the respondents, knowledge of other uses of moringa, respondents perception that moringa vegetable is sweet, non availability of fresh moringa vegetable and respondents preference for other vegetable. There is need to increase the awareness of nutritive benefits of moringa vegetable and encourage the availability of fresh moringa foe sale in the local markets.