Evidence Report 28

Policy Guidelines: Enhancing Markets for Nutrient-Dense Foods in Ghana

Published on 1 September 2013

This report analyses policy options for promoting nutrient-dense foods to reduce undernutrition in Ghana. It was produced as part of the Reducing Hunger and Undernutrition Programme, funded by DFID and is part of a project on strengthening agri-food value chains for nutrition.

Markets have great potential for providing nutrient-dense foods, but they are commonly inhibited by a number of market failures. Imperfect information, bounded rationality, uncertainty and opportunistic behaviour lead businesses to underinvest in nutritious foods. Policy interventions can help overcome these problems.

To develop solutions, it is important to identify four conditions under which agri-food value chains successfully contribute to better nutrition: value chains must make food that is adequately nutritious, available to those that need it, affordable to the poor and acceptable to consumer tastes.

There are a number of nutrient-dense products on the market in Ghana, but they are generally not accessible to the poor. To overcome the problem, four challenges must be met:

  1. Improve food safety by securing supplies that are free of aflatoxin contamination;
  2. Raise consumer awareness about nutrition and food safety; 
  3. Create mechanisms to verify the nutritional quality of products and signal this quality to consumers and;
  4. Reduce costs so that nutrient-dense foods are available and affordable to the populations that need them.

Cite this publication

Anim-Somuah, H., Henson, S., Humphrey, J. and Robinson, E. 'Policy Guidelines: Enhancing Markets for Nutrient-Dense Foods in Ghana', IDS Evidence Report 28, Brighton: IDS


Spencer Henson

Professorial Fellow

John Humphrey

Professorial Fellow

Publication details

published by
Anim-Somuah, H., Henson, S., Humphrey, J. and Robinson, E.
IDS Evidence Report, issue 28


About this publication

Related content


Key Considerations: Effective Vaccine Rollout and Uptake in Sierra Leone

SSHAP Briefing

Abu Conteh & 3 others

15 May 2024