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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Are consumers in developing countries willing to pay for aquaculture food safety certification? Evidence from a field experiment in Nigeria

Tran, Nhuong; Shikulu, Kelvin Mashisia; Hoffmann, Vivian; Lagerkvist, Carl Johan; Pincus, Lauren; Akintola, Shehu Latunji; Fakoya, Kafayat Adetoun; Olagunju, Olanrewaju Femi; Bailey, Conner


Many developing countries face challenges in managing food safety risks associated with consumption of animalsource foods. Efforts to address these challenges increasingly recognize the role of certification in agri-food systems governance. Understanding consumers' willingness to pay (WTP) for food safety certification is fundamental to determining the appropriate design and implementation of programs to reduce the burden of foodborne illnesses in developing countries. To address this need, we implemented a framed field experiment with consumers of eight farm-raised African Catfish (Clarias gariepinus) products varying in certification status (safety certified versus uncertified) and product forms (live versus smoked) to examine their WTP for food safety certification in Nigeria. We applied a mixed-effects model to account for the hierarchical structure of the data with one participant entering multiple bids, and estimated a model with participant fixed effects as a robustness check. We found that consumers were willing to pay between 3.1% and 18.8% more for fish certified as safe compared to uncertified fish. Furthermore, there was an asymmetry in food safety certification valuation, with consumers paying significant premiums for high-value larger-sized certified live and smoked catfish, but not smaller-sized certified live and smoked catfish. The results are robust to a specification in which consumer fixed effects are included. Our findings suggest there exists consumer demand for certification programs to upgrade the food safety standards of higher-value fish products in Nigeria's domestic markets. Lower-value fish products typically consumed by lower-income consumers show less potential for certification. Alternative safety regulation is needed to ensure safety practices for low-end fish products.


Food safety; Aquatic food systems; Willingness to pay; Choice experiment; Certification; Nigeria

Published in

2022, volume: 550, article number: 737829
Publisher: ELSEVIER

Authors' information

Tran, Nhuong
Shikuku, Kelvin
Hoffmann, Vivian
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics
Pincus, Lauren
Akintola, Shehu Latunji
Lagos State University
Fakoya, Kafayat Adetoun
Lagos State University
Olagunju, Olanrewaju Femi
Federal department of fisheries and aquaculture
Bailey, Conner
Auburn University

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG2 Zero hunger
SDG17 Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

UKÄ Subject classification

Fish and Aquacultural Science

Publication Identifiers


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