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Agrifood supply chain, private‐sector standards, and farmers' health: evidence from Kenya

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  • Solomon Asfaw
  • Dagmar Mithöfer
  • Hermann Waibel

Abstract

This article evaluates the impact of adoption of European Union (EU) private‐sector standards on farmers' health in rural Kenya. The study utilizes cross‐sectional farm household‐level data collected in 2006 from a randomly selected sample of 439 small‐scale export farmers. We estimate the casual impact by utilizing a two‐stage Poisson regression model, two‐stage standard treatment effect model, as well as by regression based on propensity score, to assess the robustness of the results. Using these techniques, we demonstrate that the pesticide‐ascribed incidence of acute illness symptoms and the associated cost of illness significantly decrease with the adoption of standards. Ceteris paribus, farmers who adopt standards experience 70% lesser incidence of acute illness and spent about 50–60% less on restoring their health than nonadopters. Although standards can potentially prevent resource‐poor smallholders from maintaining their position in lucrative export markets, they can also result in positive changes in the health of those farmers who do adopt them, as shown by these results. This implies that, if adopted on a large scale, standards may reduce production externalities, corroborating the view that they may serve as a catalyst to transform production systems in developing countries.

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  • Solomon Asfaw & Dagmar Mithöfer & Hermann Waibel, 2010. "Agrifood supply chain, private‐sector standards, and farmers' health: evidence from Kenya," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 41(3‐4), pages 251-263, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:agecon:v:41:y:2010:i:3-4:p:251-263
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1574-0862.2010.00443.x
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