Unravelling gaps in agri-food systems and value chains for sustainable diets: the case of the Southern Highlands of Tanzania

Project: PhD

Project Details


Smallholder farming is the backbone of food security and the livelihoods of most people in Tanzania. The success of smallholder farming is currently constrained by poor yields due to the sparse use of agro-inputs and low adoption of improved agricultural technologies and practices. As a result, the country has a large gap between food production and consumption, which contributes to higher rates of undernourishment and micronutrient deficiencies. To achieve sustainable diets, we need sustainable innovations that embrace the whole food system, i.e. from production (‘the field’) to consumption (‘the table’). The current study explores the role of integrated maize-soybean-chicken value chains and assesses their contribution to achieving sustainable diets in Tanzania. To identify different stakeholders in the chain, and their roles and relationships, we started with an explorative study using a value chain mapping approach, based on an in-depth literature review, interviews and focus group discussions (FGDs). The second objective was to explore the diversity of smallholder chicken farming in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania and identify the underlying production constraints based on interviews with farmers and FGDs. The third objective was to explore feed gaps (in terms of both quantity and quality) using concepts of production ecology in farms keeping mature indigenous and improved crossbred chickens under semi-intensive and intensive systems based on surveys, feed sampling and laboratory analysis. The final objective was to explore possible futures at a regional scale by optimizing food supply while minimizing environmental effects by modelling different scenarios.
Effective start/end date1/04/1814/06/23


  • Tanzania


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