Organic certified production systems and household income: micro level evidence of heterogeneous treatment effects
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This article provides empirical evidence on heterogeneous effects of local market-oriented organic vegetable and honey certification schemes on household income, thereby identifying who benefits most from the schemes in Kenya. Proliferation of pro-poor local market-oriented certified organic production systems in developing countries justifies the need for the study to inform research and policy perspective. The study uses stratification multilevel and matching-smoothing approach in estimating heterogeneous treatment effects that controls for pretreatment heterogeneity bias and treatment effect heterogeneity bias. Findings were that despite the objective of certified organic vegetable production program to improve the income of socially and economically disadvantaged farmers, the farmers with higher propensity scores benefited most. Farmers across all propensity score strata significantly benefited in organic honey production system. Moderate socially and economically advantaged farmers benefited most from certified organic honey certification. To policy makers and program planners, implicit assumption of homogenous effect of organic certification does not always hold. Program design could play important role in enhancing effectiveness of agricultural interventions in achieving higher income among the poor.
KeywordsOrganic certification Heterogeneous treatment effect Homogeneous effect Pro-poor Kenya
The author are grateful to German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Award Number A/12/94962 for their financial support in conducting this study. The dedicated enumerators and two anonymous contact persons are highly acknowledged for the high-quality data collected. Much appreciation also goes to the farmers for their time and cooperation throughout the fieldwork.
OI conceived the idea in the study and partook in its design, data collection, drafting, and approval of the final submitted manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
The author declares that he has no competing interests.
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