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