This pilot investigates the barriers to producing and maintaining high product quality along a value chain, focusing on the honey sector. As with many agricultural products in developing countries, Ethiopian honey passes through many hands on its way to consumers, including beekeepers, local traders, agricultural cooperatives, processing companies, and retailers. At each step of this value chain, participants must have the knowledge, resources, and incentives to meet quality standards. However, it can be challenging to verify the quality of honey because the cost of the equipment needed to measure quality indicators is not financially feasible for most individual Ethiopian honey processors, who in the past have had to send samples to international labs. Researchers first test the logistics and measure farmers’ willingness to have their honey sampled and quality-tested in a lab, and pilot a contract farming intervention to organize producers. The study also maps the specific actors engaged in the production and sale of honey, and documents prices. These research activities lay the groundwork for a future randomized evaluation, to measure the impacts of these interventions on farmer investment in quality, and the prices and exportability of the honey produced as a result. Results forthcoming.
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