Willingness to Pay for Improved Milk Sensory Characteristics and Assurances in Northern Kenya Using Experimental Auctions

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International Food and Agribusiness Management Review

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Pastoralists in northern Kenya may be able to diversify income by selling milk in nearby towns and cities. However, milk sold in open-air markets in communities in northern Kenya is often of low quality in terms of its sensory characteristics. The milk is also often adulterated before sale. These markets are characterized by poor consumers who need to make choices about milk quality with virtually no information other than their own sensory perceptions. These conditions are similar in many parts of the world for many different commodities and products. An examination was undertaken using experimental auctions to determine if consumers in the border town of Moyale, Kenya are willing to pay for enhanced milk sensory characteristics and assurances. The results suggest that even poor consumers are willing to pay for enhanced sensory characteristics and assurances if these can be communicated in a trusted manner. Older, relatively well-informed women are the group most willing to pay the highest prices for milk quality.

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