The landscaping study investigates eight (non-fodder) legume value-chains in Ethiopia, namely: chickpea, faba bean, field pea, grass pea, groundnut, haricot beans, lentils and soybean. The study analyzed the value-chains in terms of: the key players, farming systems, business models and profit margins. The study followed the integrated value-chain development concept, taking up a systems approach that focuses on the entire value-chain, including: R&D, crop management, input and business services, markets, finance and policy interventions. Research was undertaken in eleven leading legume production zones. The methodology used is a combination of CIAT’s LINK value-chain methodology and standard quantitative economic analyses for farm production, chain margins and comparative profitability. The study deliberately included a large number of local Ethiopian consultants from regional and national knowledge institutes, ensuring local embedding and promoting awareness of the integrated value-chain development approach.
Rationale for legumes
Legumes occupy approximately thirteen percent of cultivated land and are critical to smallholder livelihoods in Ethiopia. Legumes are grown for a number of reasons:
- household consumption and human nutrition
- household income
- export value (hard currency) and
- soil health.
Apart from the ability to fix nitrogen from the air, legumes often take up a special position in the farming system as an intercrop or second crop, increasing the overall cropping intensity. Legume strategies and projects No detailed legume strategies have been developed so far, except for chickpea. The Agricultural Transformation Agency has developed a National Chickpea Working Strategy. In line with this working strategy the AGP-AMDe (Agricultural Marketing Development project) is working on a wide range of value-chain activities, supporting breeding, seed multiplication, production, postharvest management, marketing, processing and exports. In addition, the N2Africa project has prioritized chickpea in its second phase, exploring business partnerships to expand the availability of quality seed of improved varieties, inoculants and fertilizer products.