Food Security

, Volume 9, Issue 6, pp 1219–1235 | Cite as

The integration of smallholders in agricultural value chain activities and food security: evidence from rural Tanzania

  • Luitfred Kissoly
  • Anja Faße
  • Ulrike Grote
Original Paper


The integration of smallholders into agricultural value chains is considered an important pathway for raising the welfare of farmers, including their food security. Distinct from literature that has mainly dwelt on smallholder integration in high-value and export-orientated agricultural value chains (AVCs), we focus on domestic, traditional AVCs, which are relevant to the majority of smallholders. Using primary household data from Kilosa and Chamwino districts in rural Tanzania, we examined the nature and extent of smallholder participation in traditional AVC activities and their associated welfare effects, focusing primarily on household food security. Cluster analysis was used to explore different smallholder livelihood activities and the extent of participation in traditional AVCs while propensity score matching and inverse probability weighted regression adjustment approaches were employed to analyze food security effects of various AVC activities. Results revealed that smallholders participate at varying levels in different AVC activities and their integration in traditional AVCs plays an important role in improving food security. Whereas other studies analyze only the impacts of participation in single AVC activities, we show the relevance of assessing the effects of multiple AVC activities on food security. Findings highlight the importance of promoting policies that enable effective vertical and horizontal integration of smallholder farmers into traditional AVC activities for enhanced food security and improved livelihoods.


Smallholder agriculture Integration Traditional value chains Food security Tanzania 



This publication is a product of the project Trans-SEC ( funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The views expressed are those of the authors and may not under any circumstances be regarded as stating an official position of the BMBF and BMZ. We wish to thank two reviewers for their valuable comments on earlier drafts of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and International Society for Plant Pathology 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Environmental Economics and World TradeLeibniz University HannoverHannoverGermany

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