Two female scientists win the Young Rice Scientists Award for research on consumer preferences

Two female scientists, Gaudiose Mujawamariya and Esther Leah Achandi from AfricaRice Tanzania, won the Young Rice Scientists Award at the recently concluded 4th International Rice Congress 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand. The SARD-SC project funded by the African Development Bank sponsored their participation at the award ceremony in Thailand. The two economists and their colleagues―Rose Fiamohe and Maimouna Ndour―in collaboration with their NARES partners were presented with the awards for their work on throwing light on consumers’ preferences for rice in the urban centers of Dar es Salaam and market participation of smallholder rice farmers in the country, using a double hurdle analysis.

Gaudiose Mujawamariya, an economist and Esther Leah Achandi, a research assistant for the rice value chain at AfricaRice in Dar es Salaam received the award for their work on Demystification of Consumer Preferences for Rice in Urban Areas of Dar es Salaam and Market Participation by Smallholder Rice Farmers in Tanzania: A double Hurdle analysis. The researchers used the “experimental auctions approach” to investigate how consumers value rice quality characteristics and assess the determinants of the “willingness-to-pay (WTP)” for alternative quality aspects of rice. “Good” rice production in terms of quantity and quality and the existence of market and road infrastructure enhance the participation of farmers in markets.

Ms Gaudiose Mujawamariya and Esther Leah Achandi indicated pleasant surprise to have been considered for the ‘Young Scientists Award’. “It has made us realize that we can contribute to the national, regional and global rice science agenda and this has boosted our enthusiasm at work. The award has further made us to realize that guidance, contributions and support from AfricaRice colleagues is critical to teamwork and success. We are very grateful for the generous support of the SARD-SC project that has enabled us to contribute to rice research for development by offering us a platform for knowledge sharing with like-minded people and making contributions to food security through rice research. We are encouraged and looking forward to more interesting challenges and opportunities,” they said.

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