Willingness to Pay for Local Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food for Malnutrition Management in Bungoma and Busia Counties, Kenya

  • Augustine Wafula Barasa University of Eldoret
  • Paul Okello Odwori University of Eldoret
  • Winrose Chepng’eno Moi University
  • Mary Atieno University of Eldoret
  • Abigael Otinga University Of Eldoret
  • Josephine Barasa University of Eldoret
Keywords: Ready to Use Therapeutic Foods, willingness to pay


Cases of malnutrition have been on the rise in Western Kenya inhibiting the development of the region. Among the coping strategies for malnutrition is the introduction of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTF). These are energy-dense pastes which have nutritional values as they are made from powder milk, peanuts, minerals, sugar, vitamins and vegetable oils. Despite this invention, the communities have been facing challenges in terms of access to RUTF. This is due to shortages in stock of RUTF as they are on high demand. The available products are usually imported and primarily distributed in hospitals as donations and no major commercialization effort of the product has been done. This leaves the product to be only limited to the beneficiaries of the donations and any other willing consumer of the product cannot access it. The study therefore sought to determine the consumers’ willingness to pay for an alternative local RUTF in Western Kenya. A face-to-face household- level survey of 400 respondents chosen through multistage sampling was conducted in Busia and Bungoma counties of Western Kenya. A structured questionnaire and both descriptive and econometric analysis were employed. Estimations of the factors affecting the consumers’ willingness to pay were conducted using binary logit model. The results show that majority of the respondents (252 out of 400 accounting for 63%) were willing to pay for a local RUTFs. The binary logistic regression results showed that frequency of consumption of RUTFs was found to positively influence the willingness to pay (WTP) while household size and land tenure negatively and significantly affected WTP. The high ratio of willingness to pay reveals the importance of producing a local alternative RUTFs to meet the demand. Household socio- economic characteristics also played an essential role in influencing the willingness to pay and should be considered when producing an alternative RUTF.


Akter, S. (2006). Farmers’ willingness to pay for irrigation water under government- managed small scale irrigation projects in Bangladesh. Journal of Bangladesh Studies 9:21-31.

Alemayehu, T. (2014). Farmers’ small holder farmers’ willingness to pay for improved irrigation water: a contingent valuation study in Koga Irrigation Project Ethiopia. Journal of Economic and Sustainable Development, 5(19)5-

Bett, H., Peters, K., Nwankwo, U., & Bokelmann, W. (2013). Estimating consumer preferences and willingness to pay for the underutilized indigenous chicken products.” Food Policy, 41(10), 218-225.

Dibari, F., El Hadji, I. D., Collins, S., & Seal, A. (2012). Low-cost, ready-to-use therapeutic foods can be designed using locally available commodities with the aid of linear programming. The Journal of nutrition, 142(5), 955-961.

Klasen, F., Ravens-Sieberer, U., Herdman, M., Devine, J., Otto, C., Bullinger, M., & Rose, M. (2014). The European KIDSCREEN approach to measure quality of life and well-being in children: development, current application, and future advances. Quality of life research, 23(3), 791-803.

KNBS. (2010). Macro: Kenya demographic and health survey 2008-09. Calverton, MD: Kenya National Bureau of Statistics and ICF Macro, 430.

Krejcie, R. V., & Morgan, D. W. (1970). Determining sample size for research activities. Educational and psychological measurement, 30 (3), 607-610.

Kwena, A. M. (2016). Protein-energy malnutrition in two cohorts of children in a Malaria Endemic Region of Western Kenya. Pakistan Journal of Medical Research, 55 (2), 35.

Law, C. M., Egger, P., Dada, O., Delgado, H., Kylberg, E., Lavin, P., & Barker, D. J.
P. (2001). Body size at birth and blood pressure among children in developing countries. International Journal of Epidemiology, 30(1), 52-57.

Mezgebo, A., Tessema, W., & Asfaw, Z. (2013). Economic values of irrigation water in Wondo Genet District, Ethiopia: An application of contingent valuation method. Journal of Economics and Sustainable Development, 4 (2): 23-36.

Nagata, J. M., Cohen, C. R., Young, S. L., Wamuyu, C., Armes, M. N., Otieno, B. O.,
& Weiser, S. D. (2014). Descriptive characteristics and health outcomes of the food by prescription nutrition supplementation program for adults living with HIV in Nyanza Province, Kenya. PloS One, 9 (3), e91403.

Ogunniyi, L. T., Sanusi, W. A., & Ezekiel, A. A. (2011). Determinants of rural household willingness to pay for safe water in Kwara State, Nigeria. Aquaculture, Aquarium, Conservation and Legislation International Journal of the Bioflux, 4 (5): 660-669.

Owusu, M. A. (2009). The assessment of market potential and marketing prospects of organic fruits and vegetables in Kumasi Metropolis of Ghana.

Rohith, B. K., & Chandrakanth, M. G. (2011). Institutional and economic dynamics of water users’cooperative societies in Cauvery Basin of Karnataka. Agricultural Economics Research Review. 24 (2): 235-242.

UNICEF. (2016). Ready-to-use therapeutic food demand. www.unicef.org/supply/

Wagh, V. D., & Deore, B. R. (2014). Ready to use therapeutic food (RUTF): An overview. Advances in Life Sciences and Health. http://www.cmamforum.org/ Pool/ Resources/RUTF-overview-2014. pdf.

Wendimu, S., & Bekele. W. (2011). Determinants of individual willingness to pay for quality water supply: The case of Wonji Shoa Sugar Estate, Ethiopia. Journal of Ecology and the Natural Environment 3(15): 474-480.

WHO, W., & UNSCN, U. (2007). Community-based management of severe acute malnutrition: A joint statement by the World Health Organization, the World Food Programme. The United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition and the United Nations Children’s Fund. Geneva: World Health Organization, World Food Programme, United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition, United Nations Children’s Fund.
How to Cite
Barasa, A., Odwori, P., Chepng’eno, W., Atieno, M., Otinga, A., & Barasa, J. (2018). Willingness to Pay for Local Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food for Malnutrition Management in Bungoma and Busia Counties, Kenya. Africa Journal of Technical and Vocational Education and Training, 3(1), 151-159. Retrieved from https://afritvet.org/index.php/Afritvet/article/view/67