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The use of needs assessment methodologies to focus technical interventions in root and tuber crop post-harvest systems: a case study to improve incomes and reduce losses associated with marketing of fresh cassava from rural areas to Dar es Salaam

The use of needs assessment methodologies to focus technical interventions in root and tuber crop post-harvest systems: a case study to improve incomes and reduce losses associated with marketing of fresh cassava from rural areas to Dar es Salaam

Ndunguru, G. T., Graffham, A. J., Modaha, F., Rwiza, E., Bancroft, R. D. and Westby, A. (1998) The use of needs assessment methodologies to focus technical interventions in root and tuber crop post-harvest systems: a case study to improve incomes and reduce losses associated with marketing of fresh cassava from rural areas to Dar es Salaam. Project Report. Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich.

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Abstract

The Transfer of Needs Assessment Methodologies and Post-Harvest Technologies for Non-Grain Starch Staple Food Crops (NGSS) in sub-Saharan Africa project was initiated in Tanzania in July 1993 as a collaborative venture between the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) and the Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre (TFNC). The project was funded by the UK Department For International Development (DFID). The main project involved activities in Ghana and Tanzania but this report deals exclusively with activities in Tanzania focusing on the transfer of needs assessment methodologies, the application of needs assessment in identifying post-harvest problems and technical interventions for NGSS and the identification, validation and dissemination of a technology to improve incomes and reduce post-harvest losses associated with marketing of fresh cassava roots from rural production areas to urban markets in Dar es Salaam.
In the first stage of the project a range of needs assessment methodologies were successfully validated under field conditions through the mechanism of three case studies, which were carried out in Lake Zone, Tanga Region and Dar es Salaam of Tanzania. Following the case studies, two training in needs assessment workshops were conducted in Tanzania to disseminate needs assessment technologies to key personnel from research organisations and institutes in Tanzania, Mozambique, Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda and Ethiopia.
The needs assessment case study in Tanga Region highlighted post-harvest problems as a major constraint facing farmers and traders involved in the marketing of fresh cassava to urban areas, and formed the basis for a more detailed study of the marketing system for fresh cassava from rural production areas to urban markets in Dar es Salaam. Semi structured interviews with key stakeholders in the marketing system demonstrated that reductions in quality resulting from poor handling and delays in marketing lead to serious reductions in income throughout the market chain. Farmers and market personnel identified the criteria for a technical intervention to reduce income losses incurred when marketing fresh cassava.
After considering various options a simple low cost storage technique for fresh cassava originally developed by the Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT) and NRI and later modified with DFID RNRRS funds by the NRI and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) in Ghana was selected for validation in Tanzania. Validation exercises in Tanzania demonstrated that low cost fresh cassava root storage technology had the technical and economic potential to alleviate postharvest problems associated with marketing of fresh cassava and improve the incomes of those involved in the cassava market system.
In the final stage of the project a flexible dissemination strategy was developed and used to carry out a limited technical dissemination campaign in the major cassava markets in Dares Salaam and selected villages ofKisarawe and Ruf~i Districts in Pwani (Coast) Region, and to promote wider awareness of the technology throughout Tanzania. Needs assessment techniques were used to develop practical approaches for dissemination and two impact assessments (November 1996 and December1997)
were carried out to assess effectiveness of dissemination activities and allow for optimisation ofthe strategy.
The first impact assessment (November 1996) was used to highlight the strengths and limitations of the initial dissemination strategy, so that a more effective strategy could be developed in collaboration with representatives of the Agricultural Extension Services and key stakeholders in the market system. In December 1997 a second impact assessment was made to assess the effectiveness of the revised dissemination strategy and to highlight any problems. The wider awareness campaign was found to have been effective and a number of expressions of interest had been received from organisations and individuals interested in fresh cassava within Tanzania.
A high level of interest and awareness was found in markets and villages where training activities had taken place, but a number of problems were identified which were hampering uptake of the technology. The two main problems were: (a). to be effective the technology needs to be implemented at all points in the market system but individuals were unwilling to take the risk ofbeing the first to use the technology without proof of the economic benefits of the technology; (b). the market system is dominated by a large open type of package called a lumbesa which is not suitable for application of the technology or for transport of cassava but is used for other reasons related to transport charges.
To overcome the first difficulty the project team developed a marketing demonstration to provide a practical demonstration of the financial benefits of low cost :fresh cassava root storage technology to potential beneficiaries within the marketing system. The second difficulty was addressed by representatives of various village governments and market co-operatives in collaboration with the TFNCINRI project team. In November of 1997 the village governments of Jaribu and Bungu villages in Rufiji District enacted bylaws to encourage adoption of close packaging for cassava and adoption of the new storage technology. To support this initiative the Agricultural Extension Service in Rufiji District have agreed to integrate the technology into their extension programmes, and in addition the village government in Jaribu has initiated its own training programme in the sub-villages around Jaribu. In December 1997 the village governments of Masaki, Sungwi and Gumba villages in Kisarawe District villages decided to follow the lead taken by villages in Rufiji District and develop bylaws and training programmes to promote uptake ofthe new technology. The Agricultural Extension Service for Kisarawe District have acknowledged the importance of cassava as a source of income generation in the District, and have agreed to integrate the technology into their extension programmes. If co-operation between the various stakeholders is maintained it seems likely that the technology will start to be adopted during 1998.
This case study within the main regional Africa project has demonstrated not only that low cost :fresh cassava root storage technology has the technical and economic potential to reduce post-harvest losses and improve incomes, but has also shown that key stakeholders are genuinely interested in adoption of the technology and are willing to co-operate and spend their own funds to promote uptake of the technology.
However, for successful uptake of the technology a wider dissemination at both local and national level is required. It is also clear that lack of funds in rural areas could constrain producers and country buyers from adopting this technology. To meet the needs ofthose involved in marketing of fresh cassava throughout Tanzania a sustained campaign of dissemination is required, involving close collaboration between the Agricultural Extension Services, selected NGOs and key stakeholders involved in marketing of fresh cassava from rural areas to various urban centres in Tanzania. A concept note for wider dissemination of low cost fresh cassava root storage technology in Tanzania is included in this report (Appendix 5).
The fmdings of this case study have shown that successful adoption of this technology would improve the quality of cassava reaching urban consumers, and contribute to poverty alleviation by improving the income generating potential of marketing of fresh cassava.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Additional Information: Final report of the fresh cassava storage case study of the DFID Regional Africa Technology Transfer Project on Non-Grain Starch Staple Food Crops Joint NRC & TFNC Report No. R2364 (R)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cassava; Storage; Tanzania
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Food & Markets Department
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 15:29
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/17344

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