published on Food Security 17 April 2018
This article investigates smallholder market linkages in food value chains in sub-Saharan Africa, using Tanzania as a case study. Specifically, we analysed the status and drivers of market linkages among farmers, and their impact on agricultural income and food security. The analysis is based on nationally representative household survey data, using a combination of descriptive statistics and econometric approaches. Although most farmers in Tanzania are integrated into agricultural markets, their level of commercialization is very low, with an average of only 30% of their crop production sold. Around 15% of farmers who sell crops have access to potentially more rewarding market linkages (e.g. through cooperatives or contract farming). The econometric results show that, controlling for a number of confounding factors, farmers with market linkages are more commercialized, and receive significantly higher producer prices and crop income than those without such linkages. However, in spite of these positive results, we did not find significant differences in terms of household food security.