The objective of the research project is to explore the use and value of indigenous crops from smallholder farms through a value chain approach set in Tanzania. The project hypothesis is that indigenous crops represent an opportunity to diversify farming systems, ensure food security and alleviate poverty, while increasing income levels and improving human health. The study uses a value chain approach to establish the economic potential of these crops, identifying what crops are grown, where and how they are grown, and where, when and to whom they are sold. The assumption is that an analysis of the indigenous crops value chain will highlight existing and potential value as well as areas for possible strengthening, in the process providing important, policy-relevant insights on the role of indigenous crops in creating a resilient food system for low-income households.
The study adopts a mixed-method approach for collecting data; a household questionnaire survey followed by an in-depth interview and focus-group discussion is employed to generate primary data, which is further substantiated by secondary data. In addition to its contribution to strengthening agricultural systems and development, the research has the potential to support the achievement of gender equality outcomes. Results of the research are to be communicated to stakeholders via a consultation workshop and published workshop proceedings, a policy brief, and peer-reviewed articles.