Enhancing food security is the main goal of subsistence farmers, who are vulnerable to food insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa. Participatory research across food value chains (FVC) can help stabilize and enhance food security by developing upgrading strategies (UPS). However, prior to successful widespread adoption and geographical upscaling, such practices need in-depth understanding of their suitability in target areas and their particular local requirements. Ex-ante assessments of selected UPS were carried out by German and Tanzanian agricultural scientists using the “ScalA-FS” tool. The participating experts included those responsible for implementation. The tool aims to systematically evaluate, at the community level, UPS that have been successfully implemented elsewhere, evaluate their potential for dissemination, and identify entry points for adjustments during implementation. Assessment indicators were developed through a participatory process. UPS relate to a) natural resource management and crop production; b) food processing and bioenergy; c) income generation and market participation; and d) food consumption. Here we present the ScalA-FS assessment results on UPS suitability as well as on its implementation requirements. We focused on the local context needed to enable a productive collaboration between smallholder farmers and implementing research and/or development organizations. Implementation requirements for the selected UPS were assessed as generally low to medium, and projected suitability in most cases was high. Local knowledge and education (human capital) along with visible success after a short time were important criteria of success of UPS. Here, careful consideration of the challenges before and after implementation of UPS is suggested. ScalA-FS should be applied early in the implementation process of UPS in order to support adaptations and successful upscaling at other locations.
Food Security – Springer Journals
Published: May 30, 2018
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