Non-Compliance with Agri-Food Safety Laws in Kenya: A Routine Activity Approach

Mr Emmanuel Bunei1

1University Of New England, Armidale, Australia

Agri-food safety management is critical for consumer protection and economic development. However, few studies have examined factors that motivate farmers and other actors in the agri-food chain to sell contaminated farm produce from a criminological perspective. This study employed Routine Activity Theory to examine the factors that cause farmers to violate agri-food safety laws during the process of selling farm produce. Data were gathered through six focus group discussions with 54 farmers and in-depth interviews with 29 key stakeholders in the agri-food chain in Uasin Gishu County, Kenya. The results revealed that farmers’ breach of food safety regulations is motivated by economic and social factors as well as opportunities provided by markets for contaminated farm produce. A lack of guardianship in terms of poor regulation, the low risk of detection and the lack of education for farmers, traders and consumers are other factors that motivate non-compliance with food safety regulations.


Emmanuel Bunei holds MA (Sociology) and BA from Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya. He has previously work with Ministry of Agriculture, Kenya. His work has focused on rural sociology and development generally but specifically on rural deviance and social problems, agriculture and food policy and criminology of food and agriculture. He has published on entrepreneurial crimes, cattle rustling, crime prevention on farms, farm crime reporting and impacts of farm crimes in Kenya. He is currently pursuing a PhD at UNE Business School with interest in intersection of discipline of business/economics and criminology.


Dec 10 2021