Improving the access of small farmers in eastern and southern Africa to global pigeonpea markets.Agricultural Research and Extension Network Paper No. 120 uri icon


  • Recent developments in sub-Saharan Africa highlight an increasing trend toward liberalized domestic markets and foreign trade. To take advantage of these developments, small-scale farmers must be able to participate in productive activities in which they have a competitive advantage. This implies access to well-organized marketing, distribution and post-harvest systems; effective market information; and technologies that allow them to be price and quality competitive. An outline is given of an ongoing strategic partnership between the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, and TechnoServe Inc., an international non-profit business development organization, and their work with a range of public and private sector actors to improve the incentives for smallholders to produce high-quality pigeon peas targeted at high-value niche markets differentiated by quality standards. In Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania, smallholder farmers are being linked to different niche markets through a range of institutional and market arrangements. A regional strategy to introduce new technologies, along with simple and easily administered quality standards based on end-user needs, can help farmers, traders and exporters to benefit from niche markets that demand higher quality standards than the traditional export market for fair average quality (FAQ) grain.

publication date

  • 2002