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

Abstract

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.

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Notes

  1. In the analysis, drying was excluded from processing activity because it is considered a pre-requisite activity and mostly done in the field, or at the homestead. To capture significant value addition from crops that may be sold, activities such as squeezing, oil pressing and sorting are considered in initial processing done by small-scale farmers.

  2. Due to the exclusivity requirement of the groups, collective action was not included in the analysis at this stage since it was not pursued exclusively, but rather jointly with improved inputs and storage for selling. For example, smallholders may have procured inputs or stored for selling in groups.

  3. Doubly robust approaches such as inverse probability treatment of weighting (IPTW) and IPWRA have been used in a number of studies (see for example Binam et al. 2015, Chiputwa et al. 2015) analyzing multiple treatments. In the present study, the IPWRA approach is implemented by using teffects program in STATA.

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Acknowledgements

This publication is a product of the project Trans-SEC (www.trans-sec.org) 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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Correspondence to Luitfred Kissoly.

Appendix

Appendix

Table 8 Rotated component matrix for factor analysis
Table 9 Balancing tests before and after matching
Fig. 4
figure 4

Propensity score distributions and common support for treated and untreated groups

Fig. 5
figure 5

Kernel densities of the probability of treatment level 1,…,3

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Kissoly, L., Faße, A. & Grote, U. The integration of smallholders in agricultural value chain activities and food security: evidence from rural Tanzania. Food Sec. 9, 1219–1235 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12571-016-0642-2

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Keywords

  • Smallholder agriculture
  • Integration
  • Traditional value chains
  • Food security
  • Tanzania