From circle of poison to circle of virtue: Pesticides, export standards and Kenya's green bean farmers
Okello, J J
Swinton, S M
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In response to growing consumer concerns, developed-country governments have reduced permissible pesticide residue levels in food. Many food retailers have developed even more stringent private food safety protocols relating to pesticide use, storage and disposal and passed them on to their suppliers. Exporters in developing countries enforce these developed-country pesticide standards (DC-PS) by subjecting farmers to close monitoring. This study explores the effects of enforcing compliance with DC-PS on smallholder farmers’ pesticide-related health costs. Results suggest that enforcing DC-PS encourages farmers to use protection that lowers pesticide-induced morbidity, hence reducing farmers’ health costs from pesticide exposure. The study concludes that there are health benefits to family farmers from complying with DC-PS beyond the acknowledged income generation from selling fresh produce in premium export markets.