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Mabaya wins 'best paper' at annual African conference

Edward Mabaya, senior research associate in the Emerging Markets Program of the Department of Applied Economics and Management in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, was awarded the "Best Paper" prize at the recent 46th annual gathering of the Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa, held in Windhoek, Namibia.

Mabaya's paper, written with two African co-authors, analyzed the possibility of adding nutrients to milled cereal products as a way to combat malnutrition in the southern African nation. The results will be used by the government of Botswana as it moves forward in forming a national alliance to implement food fortification.

The paper, which was chosen from 63 entries, is based on a study conducted in 2007 that collected data from 452 consumers in Gaborone, Botswana, and surrounding areas to determine the importance of different cereal product characteristics -- such as brand, quality, price and origin -- in influencing the buying decision of consumers. The study also evaluated the willingness among consumers to pay for fortified cereal products and to develop recommendations for guiding private strategy and public policy for fortification in Botswana.

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