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|Title: ||Analysis of the Soya Bean Value Chain in Zambia’s Eastern Province|
|Authors: ||Lubungu, Mary|
Burke, William J.
Sitko, Nicholas J.
|Authors (Email): ||Sitko, Nicholas J. (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|Issue Date: ||2013-05|
|Series/Report no.: ||IAPRI Working Paper|
|Abstract: ||The Feed the Future (FtF) program being implemented in Zambia’s Eastern Province by
United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) has its goal of lifting more
than a quarter of a million rural people (mostly farmers) out of poverty by 2015 (USAID
2011). The attainment of this objective will be achieved, in part, through sustained
investments in several key value chains in the agricultural sector, including soya bean value
chain. Despite the clear benefits of soya production for smallholders, soya production
remains low. In part, this may be linked to the pervasive belief among farmers that soya
markets are unreliable. However, interviews with downstream market actors suggest that
there is in fact significant unmet demand for soya in Zambia. The purpose of this value chain
analysis is to identify the factors limiting smallholder linkages to the growing markets for
soya in Zambia, and to provide concrete strategies to overcome them.
The primary data used in this study stem from qualitative research conducted in Eastern
Province of Zambia. The data were collected through guided interviews with key actors at
each node of the soya bean value chain. In addition to qualitative research, data from
different national representative surveys were used to inform our discussion.
The study highlights the following challenges:
First, there is limited availability of high yielding soya seed and limited incentive for private
investment in smallholder soya seed multiplication. This is partly because smallholder
farmers prefer open pollinated varieties (OPVs), which can be recycled for up to five years
with minimal yield loss. However, supplying recyclable seed is less profitable, so corporate
suppliers tend not to promote them heavily. Another challenge concerns lack of inoculum as
Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI) is the sole producer within Zambia.
Second, yield improving input usage in soya bean production is low. Smallholder farmers
rarely use inoculum in soya bean production due to a lack of knowledge about the benefits of
using inoculums, coupled with problems associated with acquisition. In Zambia, ZARI is the
sole producer of inoculum. Low production is also related to poor agronomic practices, such
as late planting and poor disease management
Third, due to low production, farmers tend to have small quantities to sell and the earliest
opportunity farmers have to turn their crop into cash is when the prices are the lowest of the
marketing season during harvest time. Limited quantities of production do not justify
transporting soya to potentially more remunerative markets in the district capital where
buyers are willing to pay a premium on bulk purchases. Lastly, there is a large amount of
trade distrust between farmers and traders, and it flows in both directions. Farmers complain
of rigged scales whereas traders complain that sacks are frequently loaded with sand or stones
to increase their weights.
Based on the highlighted challenges, we suggest the following intervention strategies to
i. The project should work with seed suppliers and agro-dealers on forecasting demand
based on project interventions. In addition, there is need for more public investment in
the smallholder soya seed production and multiplication.
ii. Awareness campaign on the benefits of using inoculum and how to apply it in soya
bean production as well as improve accessibility.
iii. Improve the extension service with regard to crop management practices.
iv. Work with farmers on local bulking for onward sale. Need to focus efforts on
improving farmers’ capacity to engage with the already existing market.
v. Strategies for improving farmers’ capacity include market training on negotiation,
market identification, and capacity to store.|
|Institution/Association: ||Michigan State University>Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics>Food Security Collaborative Working Papers|
|Total Pages: ||39|
|Collections:||Food Security Collaborative Working Papers|
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