Local Agri-Food Systems

mkt-stall-tigray2-stThe overall objective of Work Package 4 is to identify and understand factors within agri-food systems at the meso-level, that influence local food and nutrition security. This work is co-led by the partner universities in Ethiopia (Haramaya and Mekelle) and Tanzania (Sokoine and St Augustines), with key inputs from UCC for Ethiopia and UCD for Tanzania on selected issues. The research will focus on the areas surrounding the sites selected for the household survey under Work Package 5.

The first step is a rapid appraisal approach to identify key characteristics of the rural economy, including demographics, land use systems, water resources, energy conditions, income distribution, livelihoods, production characteristics (agriculture and non-agriculture), food security, nutritional status, agro-ecological descriptions, infrastructure, market access, government services and programmes by development actors, all disaggregated by gender where relevant. This is based on available data (published or unpublished, particularly from local sources) and interviews with key local informants.

An assessment is then made of local markets, including retail food markets, agricultural commodity markets and agricultural input markets. The purpose of these studies is to identify how markets impact, directly or indirectly, on income and on food and nutrition security, investigating both retail and wholesale market structures and functions for the main commodities, the key actors involved, and price trends and fluctuations. This assessment will identify the key food and cash crops as well as livestock products and markets in the area.

Value chain analysis also forms part of the work package, with the selection of key commodities identified in each area as being crucial to nutrition and/or income. There will be a particular focus on the impact of value chains on vulnerable households, and especially on women and children. Key elements of the agri-food system in each project site, such as land tenure, will be selected for further analysis.

Further details on this work package can be found in the Methodology Guidelines Working Paper below