Scaling microbusinesses for healthy and sustainable food systems
Kenya must evolve its food system to reduce the burden of malnutrition and thereby improve public health and national economic growth. There is a need not only to reduce the incidence of undernutrition, but also to address the obesity and chronic illnesses associated with overnutrition. The challenge is to make sustainable healthy foods the preferred option among consumers rather than ultra-processed, less healthy foods. This can be achieved in part by making sustainable healthy foods consistently available and affordable to all consumers, including the poorest.
This project seeks to identify the conditions that can influence microbusinesses in informal and rural contexts to contribute more to equitable food system transformation, in particular for extremely poor women, and to strengthen microbusiness owners’ household food consumption. It will examine incentives for businesses to change as well as the factors that influence demand, and how they are shaped by gender. The project will convey new knowledge on policy measures and interventions that can encourage business production, market interaction, and demand for healthy and sustainable foods. To meet its goal, the project will use a comprehensive mixed-method approach comprising systematic reviews, household surveys, qualitative interviews, value-chain analysis, natural experiments, and econometric modeling.
This project will be funded through the Catalyzing Change for Health and Sustainable Food Systems (CCHeFS) Initiative, a co-funding partnership between IDRC and the Rockefeller Foundation.