Food Security

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 827–839 | Cite as

Food value chain linkages and household food security in Tanzania

  • Raoul Herrmann
  • Ephraim Nkonya
  • Anja Faße
Original Paper


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.


Tanzania Food value chain Market linkage Cooperatives Impact evaluation 

JEL classification

Q13 Q15 Q16 O13 



This publication is a product of the Trans-SEC project (, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The views expressed belong to the authors and may not under any circumstances be regarded as stating an official position of the BMBF and BMZ. We wish to thank two anonymous reviewers and the journal editors for their valuable comments on earlier drafts of this paper.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature and International Society for Plant Pathology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)BonnGermany
  2. 2.International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)WashingtonUSA
  3. 3.Technical University of Munich (TUM) Campus Straubing of Biotechnology and SustainabilityWeihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied SciencesFreisingGermany

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