Smallholder farmers and the sunflower oilseed market

In the remote areas of Northern Tanzania, market inefficiencies exclude smallholder farmers from formal markets, keeping them insecure of sufficient income to provide for their families. Generally, smallholders sell their yield in small quantities to traders who they meet in open markets, which usually take place once or twice a week. Low prices are paid because of the small amounts and the poor quality of the produce.

In recent years more and more smallholders have moved into growing sunflower for the production of oilseeds. Producing sunflower oilseeds is relatively easy compared to other cash crops that are cultivated in Northern Tanzania and with an enormous national demand for edible oils, this makes sunflower an attractive cash crop for smallholders. Currently, sunflower is mainly produced on small-scale farms.