In a first of its kind, a cross-country workshop was conducted across two crop value chains and across two countries – pigeonpea in Tanzania and groundnut in Uganda. To improve the value chains of both crops a set of recommendations emerged at the two-day workshop held in Tanzania. Some of the main recommendations were:

To agree on a set of simple standards that provide premiums to producers of quality products tailored to market needs. The agreed standards should be implemented in consultation with all market actors. A simple testing and payment structure should be aligned to this.

All countries in East Africa needed to take a common stand on aflatoxin contamination and common approaches and policies should be adopted. A regional aflatoxin coordination and advocacy body may be called for.

More evidence is needed to support the inclusion of groundnut and pigeonpea in the strategies of target governments. The importance of including local government in the policy discourse should not be overlooked and neither should private sector actors be excluded, particularly influential stakeholders such as commodity traders and exporters.

This is the first time stakeholders of two value chains from two countries had come together to discuss constraints and opportunities, and to identify common themes. The identified common themes for both value chains were – farmers’ behavioural change, policy and quality standards as well as seed production and seed systems. The workshop aimed at facilitating documentation of common lessons and entry points for upgrading the value chains by bringing together stakeholders from two countries and two crops.

Focus on quality and policy interventions

During the workshop it emerged that the areas of strategic intervention are similar in both settings and the same methodology for the development of demonstrations and trainings can be used for both crops and in both countries, especially as both crops are legumes. Even in the area of improved seed availability and adoption by farmers, the approaches to improve the value chain performance can be used in both value chains and countries. Policy and quality related issues should be implemented at the level of the East African Community but the development should include governments at the local level. This includes a common stand in East Africa on aflatoxin to ensure the highest possible effect and some regional aflatoxin coordination and advocacy body.

One encouraging development that emerged from the review of pigeonpea was the realization that some NGOs are now participating in the value chain to support the development, and the emergence of local processing facilities for dal production.

The workshop was held recently in Arusha, Tanzania. Led by Kai Mausch from ICRISAT Nairobi, the workshop was facilitated by Joachim Webe (ValueLinks specialist) and expert inputs were provided by the team leaders of the individual value chains – Prof Ben Bennet (Natural Resource Institute, Greenwich) for pigeonpea Tanzania and Prof Johnny Mugisha (Makerere University, Kampala) for groundnut in Uganda. This workshop was organized under the EC-IFAD project ‘Enhancing Productivity of Groundnut and Pigeonpea Cropping Systems in Eastern Africa’ under the CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes.

Source: ICRISAT Happenings