Technological Innovation, Food Safety, and Economic Development in Lower Middle-Income Countries
The disease burden due to food-related illnesses is highest in low-income countries. At the same time, low-income countries experience high levels of poverty. Improvements in the safety of the food produced and consumed in these settings can improve the health of consumers as well as the livelihoods of the producers by enabling them to participate in high-value markets that reward safety. Technological innovations to facilitate the production and supply of safe food exist. However, their potential to contributes towards improved health and livelihoods is not fully known. We provide some evidence on this topic by exploring the barriers to the adoption of a new food safety technology by small-scale producers in Kenya. We find that the lack of market incentives and information constraints are significant barriers to the adoption of these technologies. From the demand side, we find that certain types of information can play a role in stimulating consumer demand for safer foods.