31st March 2023
The scaling of legumes for development outcomes in Tanzania faces a range of challenges. A complex interplay of factors presents obstacles to the widespread adoption and expansion of legume production and consumption. Improved yields, sustainability, nutrition, health and livelihoods are key development outcomes that are anticipated (but remain elusive) from the scaling of legumes in Tanzania.
On the production side, barriers to smallholder access to quality seeds, bioinoculants and stable markets act to impede the scaling of legumes, while dietary preferences in Tanzania and in global markets limit demand for the wide dietary diversity that can be provided by legumes. As Tanzania strives to harness the full potential of legumes for economic growth and food security, a concerted effort is required to overcome these impediments and create an enabling environment for successful legume scaling.
There are multiple actors in the legume ‘food system” that are critical for more effective scaling of legume production and consumption, including government Ministries and agencies, farmers organisations, companies, donors, investors, NGOs and civil society organisations. The EU-funded Legumes for Development research and innovation (LEG4DEV) project is conducting research and innovation activities with scaling partners to enable more effective scaling of legumes for development outcomes.
On 31 arch 2023, the LEG4DEV project convened a multi-stakeholder workshop in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, bringing together legume scaling partners and stakeholders from across multiple sectors in Tanzania. The workshop aimed to identify key barriers and opportunities to scaling legumes, along with research and innovation priorities for more effective scaling of legumes in Tanzania. The workshop brought together individuals from across a range of diverse institutions, all of whom were of relevance to more effective scaling of legumes in Tanzania. All of the participants engaged in sessions to identify research and innovation priorities for scaling legumes in Tanzania.
Opening remarks for the workshop were given by Dr. John Sariah from the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) on ongoing research & extension activities for scaling legumes in Tanzania across all of the countries agroecological zones. Legume specialist Dr. Freddy Baijukya from the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Tanzania emphasised the major opportunity for scaling legumes in Tanzania, while Anna Costantini from the EU Delegation to Tanzania and East Africa Community stressed the importance and opportunity for legumes for improved nutrition and health outcomes in Tanzania.
The LEG4DEV Project Leader, Prof. Charles Spillane from University of Galway highlighted that “while legumes have major potential for delivering on livelihood, sustainability and health goals and targets, there are a range of technical, institutional and policy barriers to more effective scaling of legume production and consumption that require a multi-stakeholder approach if they are to be overcome. By bringing together the key actors in the legume system in Tanzania we hope to enable more effective partnerships, coalitions and synergies for legume scaling”
The accelerated scaling of legumes in Tanzania can unlock a multitude of benefits that can contribute to the country’s overall development by boosting agricultural productivity and food security for local communities while delivering sustainable protein and dietary diversity to reduce malnutrition and improve public health. Where legume cultivation and markets can expand together, this can lead to improved livelihoods across all of the legume value chain, from production to consumption.
The LEG4DEV project is conducting research and innovation activities with partners to enable improved scaling of legumes, so that the full potential of legumes can be unlocked, enabling climate-smart transformations towards improved nutrition, income generation, and overall sustainability outcomes.