Cowpeas, pigeon peas, green grams, chickpeas, mung beans, bambara nuts, common beans… Tanzanians love their different types of pulses! Common beans are the third most important staple crop in Tanzania, after maize and cassava.
Eating pulses adds to a more diversified diet and is seen as an important contributor in the fight against stunting in countries where there is still a high level of malnutrition amongst children, like Tanzania.
Although production, consumption and exportation of pulses has been increasing in the last decade, the country is facing serious challenges. Productivity and production are very low and actors in the value chain are not well organized. Trading relationships between farmers and buyers are based on mutual agreements with no formal or longterm contracts. The various buyers will always tell farmers that they will buy at the market price, prevailing at that particular moment. Uncertainty of the weather and therefore harvests, price volatility, the unpredictable export market, and an unstable business policy put farmers at high risk.