Experimental Design Details
Each farmer is first asked to answer a questionnaire. Information on the last marketing season and the current growing season is collected, as well as information on socio-demographic characteristics, preferences, and knowledge of groundnut diseases. Following the survey, the farmer is offered 1000 FCFA ($1.47) as a thank you gift for participating in the survey. The farmer is then asked to participate in a decision game with groundnut powder (Noflaye). If the farmer refuses, the survey ends and the farmer leaves with the 1000 FCFA. If the farmer accepts, the game begins. The farmers first complete an example game with biscuits before beginning the full game.
In this game, in each round we present the farmer with 500g of Noflaye divided into 4 bags of 125g.
A sample card is presented to the farmer to explain how to read the 12 cards that will be successively presented afterwards. Each card shows a different distribution of 500gr of Noflaye divided into 4 bags of 125gr divided between 3 different uses:
-Consumption: the farmer keeps the groundnut for his own consumption.
-Donation: the farmer gives us back the groundnuts so that we can donate them to Talibés (young boys from poor, often rural families, entrusted by their parents to a Koranic school for their religious education, but who are in fact obliged to beg for food and money in the streets).
- Sale: the farmer sells us the groundnuts at the current market price, 1000 FCFA/kilo (125 FCFA) per bag.
For each card presented (constituting a round), the farmer is asked how much he or she is willing to pay to find out whether the aflatoxin level in the groundnut is high or low, with a maximum of 1000 FCFA.
At the beginning, a brief presentation of aflatoxin and its effects is given as well as information on the prevalence of aflatoxin in Senegalese peanut production according to a recent study (1/3 of production). This is intended to fix common beliefs at the beginning of the experiment about the benefit and risk of paying to reveal test results. In practice, none of the samples we used were contaminated with aflatoxins.
If the farmer chooses to pay to reveal the aflatoxin level of the peanut, two scenarios are possible:
The aflatoxin level is low: he can keep for consumption, give away, and he can sell the peanut at 1600 FCFA/kilo (200FCFA per bag)
The aflatoxin level is revealed to be high: everything is kept on order.
If he chooses not to pay, he can keep for consumption, give away, and sell at 1000 FCFA/kilo but without anyone knowing whether it is low or high aflatoxin groundnuts.
The game goes as follows:
1. The farmer plays 6 rounds, 1 card in each round where he has to offer the price he is willing to pay for the given distribution of the card.
2. We pause and introduce the intervention: the farmer watches a video of about 8 minutes. If the farmer is in the control group, he/she watches a comedy video unrelated to aflatoxin. If he/she is in the treatment group, he/she watches a video about aflatoxin made by an expert. In this video, information on the health effects of aflatoxin and the causes and reasons for the proliferation of aflatoxin in Senegalese peanut production is provided in Wolof (the local language) by a Senegalese scientist from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) who has been working on aflatoxin in Senegal and sub-Saharan Africa for over 30 years.
3. The farmer plays 6 more rounds, 1 card in each of which he must offer the price he is willing to pay for the given distribution of the card.
4. The tablet randomly draws the price that will be applied
5. The tablet randomly draws the card (allocation) that will be applied and recalls the choice made by the farmer for this card.
6. The farmer's choice for the chosen card is applied: if he chooses not to pay, he receives the distribution without information. If the price drawn is higher than the price offered, he receives the distribution without information. If the farmer chooses to pay and the price drawn is less than the price offered, he pays and the enumerator checks the aflatoxin level using the number on the bags.
Since we have ensured that all the groundnuts offered are fit for consumption, the farmer receives the card distribution with the information of the correct aflatoxin level and the premium price.