The potential for improving smallholders' livelihoods in Zanzibar : a case study of a local value-chain of goat meat
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It is widely agreed that increasing capacity in agriculture and its associated industries is the most effective way to increase food security and lift people out poverty. Development organizations and researchers alike now argue that poverty alleviation depends on smallholder farmers’ ability to transform from subsistence farming to market-oriented production. Two issues vital to this transformation have emerged; smallholders’ access to markets and women’s access to resources. I explore these issues through a case study of a goat meat value chain in Zanzibar. The case study is a project headed by the Kizimbani Agricultural Training Institute (KATI) to enhance smallholders ability to access tourist markets in Zanzibar. The overall objective of my research is to understand, through the case study, how local farmers can improve their livelihoods. To reach this objective I critically examine farmers’ potential access to the tourist market and women’s position in goat farming in Zanzibar. A value chain approach inspired by Kaplinsky and Morris is used to analyze the opportunities and constraints in the value chain of goat meat. The analysis is supplemented by mainstreaming gender issues throughout the study, an approach developed by the Netherland Development Organization. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to collect the necessary data. A survey of 117 farmers was conducted in Zanzibar in August and September 2014 and further qualitative data was collected during a field visit in March 2015. The findings show that women play important roles in dairy goat farming in Zanzibar. Women have ownership of the goats and receive income from goat products. They are also active participants in knowledge sharing farmer groups. The study confirms, however, that women spend substantially more time on household chores than men. This has implications for women’s participation in upgrading strategies in the value chain. I argue that upgrading efforts must take into account women’s multiple responsibilities. My investigation of the value chain of goat meat reveals that the hotels in question are reluctant to source meat from local suppliers because of inconsistent supply and poor overall quality. Findings from the study of the proposed value chain show that the lack of facilitators to oversee and ensure the transaction between local farmers and hotel and restaurant owners, is a major bottleneck. To address this issue, I argue that the project leaders must consider an exit strategy in order to avoid dependency on support from KATI. Based on findings, I suggest strategies for how the value chain can operate independently. The potential for smallholder farmers to improve their incomes through the development of a dairy goat value chain is uncertain in the immediate future. However, my research suggests dairy goats have the potential to play a significant role in the islands long-term sustainable development.