The number of rural poor has been reported to rise in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) while per capita food consumption in the region is on the decline and food insecurity has been much embedded. Thus, knowing upgrading strategies (UPS) to be used in making a living and would have great chance of benefiting majority hence provide solutions to poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition. This paper assesses and compares the views of local stakeholders and agricultural experts in terms of prioritizing food securing UPS along food value chains (FVC). Data and information have been collected in a highly participatory process so as to develop an approach and experience in Tanzania regions to support poor people in rural areas to upgrade their position in viable FVC. Local stakeholders’ definition of food security rely on food availability component, hence this paper centers on two major FVC components such as natural resources and crop production for maize and millet subsectors in Morogoro and Dodoma regions of Tanzania, respectively. Given natural resources, agricultural experts favor soil improving upgrading strategies in Morogoro and water management in Dodoma, whereby, local stakeholders in both regions prefer farm inputs related UPS for improving soil fertility (seed varieties improvement and fertilizer use). There is no significant mismatch of views for production component apart from differences on ranks. Stakeholders in both regions prefer use of improved crop varieties, pests and diseases control and new livestock management including having village land use planning. It is recommended that satisfactory participation of local stakeholders should be considered during testing stage of FVC upgrading strategies, including packing these innovations to suit local conditions and finally empower all potential actors for successful dissemination and outreach.
Key words: Rural household, food security, upgrading strategy, food value chain, Tanzania.
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