GCRF Inclusive Societies: Innovation and Inclusive Industrialisation in Agro-Processing: A Comparative Study of South Africa and Tanzania

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Department Name: Sch of Social and Political Science

Abstract

The return of industrial policy to many African countries over the past decade has been accompanied by increased focus on promoting agro-processing, the value-adding activities for food between harvest and final consumption. This is because agro-processing is widely recognised among academics and policymakers as having exceptionally high potential to propel inclusive industrial growth which creates jobs and relieves poverty.

Agro-processing is generally a high labour-intensity and low technology-intensity entry point to industrial activity, and therefore provides an opportunity for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to enter industrial activities. It also has strong links to primary agricultural production which supports the livelihoods of many of the poorest people in developing countries. Harnessing agro-processing is additionally important at present because demand for processed food is soaring across sub-Saharan Africa.

However, creating inclusive value chains which integrate small producers and enable them to seize this opportunity is a difficult policy challenge. SMEs often face high barriers to entry, or lack the technological capabilities to deliver goods with the quality, speed and reliability demanded by new urban retailers like supermarkets. This research seeks to address this challenge and produce new insights which help improve industrial policy for agro processing. Specifically, it will investigate how governments can foster the inclusion of SMEs in food value chains and help them upgrade their technological capabilities. It does so using a contrasting case study method to examine the political economy of agro-processing value chains for maize milling, citrus fruit and dairy products in South Africa and Tanzania. The stark differences between these two very different contexts for agro-processing has the potential to generate unique insights into the political economy constraints on inclusive industrialization.

The aims of this research are threefold: first, to describe and contrast the institutional features that determine innovation and inclusion in agro-processing in Tanzania and South Africa. Second, to develop a comparative political economy of agro-processing that explains the challenges to promoting SME capabilities through targeted industrial policies, and third, to distil policy-relevant implications to support industrial policy formulation at the national and regional level. The project is an inter-disciplinary collaboration between researchers the University of Edinburgh's Centre of African Studies (CAS), the Tanzanian think-tank the Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF) and the Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development (CCRED) at the University of Johannesburg. The researchers will fulfill the aims with in-depth research on citrus, maize and dairy value chains in both countries. This will involve surveys of SME agro-processing firms and interviews with key informants in government, the private sector and civil society. This will draw on the team's interdisciplinary theoretical and methodological expertise from political economy, economics and science and technology studies. The research will contribute to improving agro-processing industrial policy initiatives in South Africa and Tanzania by providing evidence on how governments can best support the inclusion and technological upgrading of agro-processing SMEs. Its academic outputs will advance a growing body of sholarship on the political economy of industrial policy and firm-level technological capabilities in developing countries.

Planned Impact

Who will benefit from this research?

The key immediate beneficiaries are the Governments of Tanzania and South Africa, both of which identify agro-processing as a priority sector in their industrialisation strategies due to its exceptional potential for fostering inclusive growth, poverty alleviation and upgrading industrial capabilities. More specifically, in South Africa the key research beneficiaries are the Department of Trade and Industry, The Department for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Industrial Development Corporation and the Competition Commission. In Tanzania, the key beneficiaries are The Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Finance and Planning and the Economic Empowerment Commission. By providing research which directly supports improved industrial policies, the research will make a contribution to improving economic development and welfare in these countries.

How will they benefit from this research?

The project has high potential to feed directly into a range of ongoing agro-processing policy initiatives among the above beneficiaries. The project researchers would engage with relevant government officials for these policies from the outset of the research to foster collaboration towards improvement of policy design and implementation. In South Africa, these include:

i. Agro-processing Supplier Development Programme
ii. Food Retailer Procurement Charter
iii. Agro-Processing Value Chain Programme
iv. Development of the Regional Supermarket Code of Conduct
v. The Agro-processing and Agriculture Strategic Business Unit

In Tanzania, these include:

i. Ministry of Finance and Planning, The Second Five Year Development Plan implementation desk
ii. Tanzania Investment Centre
iii. The President's Office for Regional Administration and Local Government Authorities in preparation for Regional Investment Guides
iv. Tanzania Cooperatives Development Commission
v. East African Youth Inclusion Program aimed at enhancing capacity of the youth to engage in agriculture value chain

What will be done to ensure they have the opportunity to benefit?

Impact will be achieved via an iterative process of knowledge co-production and exchange, rather than simply dissemination of results. The first three months will focus on engagement with beneficiaries to align the project with stakeholder priorities and secure commitment to the project aims from the outset, with the centrepiece of this being stakeholder meetings in both partner countries. Besides building these crucial relationships, the meetings will enable refinement of research questions. Knowledge exchange during research phases will continue outside of formal events with ongoing collaboration with the beneficiaries outlined above on key policy challenges. An advisory group of priority stakeholders will meet regularly to engage with researchers. In the latter phases of the project, the researchers will produce a range of accessibly-written publications disseminated to a wide audience. Four impact workshops, two in each country, will be tailored to the needs of key audiences to maximise the research impact. These will include a combination of public dialogue events and hackathons on specific policy challenges.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Contribution of background research to South Africa agro-processing masterplan, drawing on project insights
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description Contribution to South African Agriculture and Agroprocessing Masterplan (November 2019 onwards) by CCRED team members based on work carried out in the IIAP project, through presentations of research and meetings with government researchers.
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
 
Description Impact Accelerator Award - ESRC Impact Acceleration Account (University of Edinburgh)
Amount £15,321 (GBP)
Organisation University of Edinburgh 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2020 
End 05/2021
 
Description United Kingdom Research and Innovation COVID-19 Grant Extension Allocation
Amount £37,454 (GBP)
Funding ID UKRI Grant Ref: ES/S001352/1 - University of Edinburgh Worktribe Ref: WT 6228044/ RA4570 
Organisation United Kingdom Research and Innovation 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2021 
End 09/2021
 
Title Key informant interview topic guide 
Description A topic guide for team members to use when conducting key informant interviews with a semi-structured interview technique. It contains 23 key questions and a range of prompt, to ensure consistency across interview data collection. [Please note above classification for the research tool or method is not appropriate: I have contacted the technical support team as there seems to be a problem with the drop down menu providing limited options] 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The topic guide has been deployed and is being used in key informant interviews in South Africa and Tanzania. 
 
Title Questionnaire for small and medium sized enterprise survey 
Description For our small and medium sized enterprise survey, the research team created a new questionnaire. This was built using ODK software, and is collected using a digital form on either a tablet or a laptop, with automatic archiving on secure cloud storage. The questionnaire contains 80 questions on topics including: firm categorisation and financial trends, market conditions, upstream value chain relations, downstream value chain relations, innovation activities, ICT usage, access to finance, and institutional environment. It includes a range of open and closed ended questions. The questionnaire was piloted and revised by the research team over a period of several months before being deployed in August 2019. [Please note above classification for the research tool or method is not appropriate: I have contacted the technical support team as there seems to be a problem with the drop down menu providing limited options] 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The questionnaire has enabled us to gather and aggegate survey data on SMEs in our project value chains. 
 
Description Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa: participation in Project Advisory board 
Organisation Government of South Africa
Department Department of Trade Industry and Competition
Country South Africa 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) are one of the key impact stakeholders for the project, since they are responsible for policy making on agro-processing industries. To facilitate collaboration between the project and the DTI, we invited one of their senior officials, Zukiswa Kimani, Chief Director in the Industrial Development Division, to participate in the Project Advisory Board, which meets at annual intervals to oversee progress on the project and provide guidance.
Collaborator Contribution Zukiswa Kimani has participated in our advisory board meetings, and assisted the project through the provision of advice and guidance with the research design.
Impact The impact to date has been internal to the project in terms of improving the design and execution of the research. In due course we hope this will improve the potential for wider policy impact.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Project collaboration agreement: Centre for Competition, Regulation and Ecnonomic Development, University of Johannesburg, and Economic and Social Research Foundation 
Organisation Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF)
Country Tanzania, United Republic of 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The research project is carried out as a partnership between the University of Edinburgh's Centre of African Studies, the Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development (CCRED) at the University of Johannesburg, and the Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF), Tanzania. The University of Edinburgh is the project Lead, with PI Dr Andrew Bowman and Co-I Dr Hazel Gray responsible for over-arching management of the project and coordination of research activities to achieve the project objectives. This partnership model - which was proposed in the research grant application - was successfully formalised and implemented after 14 January 2019 through a Collaboration Agreement drawn up by the University of Edinburgh's Research Office. This provides the contractual basis for the partnership.
Collaborator Contribution CCRED provide two co-investigators to the project, Dr Reena Das Nair and Dr Simon Roberts, alongside a research assistant, Shingie Chisoro. CCRED is responsible for leading the project's data collection and stakeholder engagement activities in South Africa. ESRF provides one Co-I, Dr Fortunata Makene, and a research assistant, Patrick Kihenzile. Together with the University of Edinburgh researchers, this constitutes the team that works collaboratively to deliver the project objectives. Together with PI Bowman and Co-I Gray, the Co-Is from the partner organisations constitute the project Board, which makes key project decisions at monthly meetings.
Impact The core outputs are still in-progress as the project is at its mid-point. Other project activities are reported in other sections of the Research Fish submission. The collaboration is multi-disciplinary, encompassing researchers with expertise in economics, sociology and political economy.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Project collaboration agreement: Centre for Competition, Regulation and Ecnonomic Development, University of Johannesburg, and Economic and Social Research Foundation 
Organisation University of Johannesburg
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The research project is carried out as a partnership between the University of Edinburgh's Centre of African Studies, the Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development (CCRED) at the University of Johannesburg, and the Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF), Tanzania. The University of Edinburgh is the project Lead, with PI Dr Andrew Bowman and Co-I Dr Hazel Gray responsible for over-arching management of the project and coordination of research activities to achieve the project objectives. This partnership model - which was proposed in the research grant application - was successfully formalised and implemented after 14 January 2019 through a Collaboration Agreement drawn up by the University of Edinburgh's Research Office. This provides the contractual basis for the partnership.
Collaborator Contribution CCRED provide two co-investigators to the project, Dr Reena Das Nair and Dr Simon Roberts, alongside a research assistant, Shingie Chisoro. CCRED is responsible for leading the project's data collection and stakeholder engagement activities in South Africa. ESRF provides one Co-I, Dr Fortunata Makene, and a research assistant, Patrick Kihenzile. Together with the University of Edinburgh researchers, this constitutes the team that works collaboratively to deliver the project objectives. Together with PI Bowman and Co-I Gray, the Co-Is from the partner organisations constitute the project Board, which makes key project decisions at monthly meetings.
Impact The core outputs are still in-progress as the project is at its mid-point. Other project activities are reported in other sections of the Research Fish submission. The collaboration is multi-disciplinary, encompassing researchers with expertise in economics, sociology and political economy.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Innovation and Inclusive Industrialisation in Agro-Processing (IIAP) Website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact A website aimed at communicating the aims of the project, publicising project progress and activities, and providing a means to distribute research outputs to the public, was created in mid-2019. This was subsequently updated with blog material highlighting engagement activities as well as being linked to the project's social media channel (Twitter) to further engagement. The website will gain further prominence as key outputs are completed and disseminated. The website is fully public and therefore accessible to all audiences. The link has been promoted through each partner organisation as well as by the individual team members and at the recent impact workshop in Tanzania in March 2020. Once the project is complete, the website will remain active for several years before being archived at a later date to preserve the content held there.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://iiap.info/
 
Description Covid-19 project briefs 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact The team conducted follow-up interviews with agro-processing SMEs to guage the impact of the pandemic on firms and food value chains. The work was published through websites as downloadable PDFs, before being turned into articles for the website The Conversation. The articles were subsequently republished on other news websites, including The Africa Report, ENCA and Bizcommunity. The articles were also shared more than 100 times on social media.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL http://theconversation.com/covid-19-has-hit-smes-in-south-africas-food-sector-hard-what-can-be-done-...
 
Description Impact Workshop - Maize Milling - (Tanzania) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact This half-day workshop took place on Thursday, 5th March in the capital of Tanzania, Dodoma at the Nashera Conference Hall. There were 15 participants from a range of stakeholders including industry associations, Ministries and regional government representatives.This workshop was aimed at enhancing the policy impact of the project on specific policy making processes in Tanzania. It was also aimed at supporting the project goals of generating knowledge exchange to support policy making for inclusive industrialization in Tanzania as well as raising the prominence of agro-processing SMEs in economic planning documents and in subsequent policy implementation. A series of presentations were given by the team on the preliminary findings of the project with regards SME milling in both Tanzania and South Africa. There was also a long discussion which allowed attendees to feed back on these findings as well as a questionnaire to assess the impact of the workshop and gauge interest in further engagement with the project. Many of the participant organisations were also involved with opening stakeholder workshops and therefore the event helped to maintain and build on key stakeholder relationships crucial to future impact goals with regards to policy-making in Tanzania.

Two further workshops focussing on the Dairy and Citrus value chains were planned in April/May 2020 but, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these were forced to be postponed. There was a further postponement as Tanzania elections took place in October 2020 and the two workshops are now planned to ahead online in late April/early May 2021. We will update on these activities once they are complete.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Opening Stakeholder Workshop, Citrus (South Africa) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact We held a half-day opening stakeholder workshop for the South African citrus value chain on Wednesday 10th July 2019. This was held at the CCRED offices in Johannesburg. It was attended by 26 people, including a range of stakeholders from the South African government and the citrus fruit industry. The meetings served to introduce the project to key impact stakeholders at an early stage with a view to building and enhancing relationships, and involved presentations from the research team for this purpose. The meetings also served to help the team identify key issues from the perspective of the industry stakeholders, and this was achieved through presentations given by key stakeholders and a facilitated dialogue. The meeting helped the project develop a number of useful contacts, several of which were followed up with interviews or meetings, and also helped further refine the research design.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Opening Stakeholder Workshop, Citrus (Tanzania) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact We held a half-day opening stakeholder workshop for the Tanzanian citrus value chain on Thursday 20th June 2019. This was held at the ESRF offices in Dar es Salaam. It was attended by approximately 30 people, including a range of policy stakeholders from the Tanzanian government, industry associations and statutory bodies. The meeting introduced key citrus industry impact stakeholders to the project through brief presentations from research team members. The meetings also served to help the team identify key issues from the perspective of the industry stakeholders, and this was achieved through presentations given by key stakeholders and a facilitated dialogue. The meeting helped the project develop relationships with stakeholders who we will follow up with at later points in the project for meetings, interviews, provision of data, and further impact activities. The insights provided by stakeholders in the dialogues also helped the research team refine the research design.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Opening Stakeholder Workshop, Dairy (South Africa) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact We held a half-day opening stakeholder workshop for the South African dairy value chain on Tuesday 9th July 2019. This was held at the CCRED offices in Johannesburg. It was attended by 27 people, including a range of policy and business stakeholders, ranging from the major trade associations to individual business owners and farmers in the dairy industry. The meetings firstly introduced the project to key impact stakeholders at an early stage with a view to building and enhancing relationships. For this the research team gave introductory presentations. The meetings also served to help the team identify key issues from the perspective of the industry stakeholders with a view to improving alignment, and this was achieved through presentations given by key stakeholders giving their view of the challenges facing their industry, and a facilitated dialogue in which the research team members participated alongside invited guests. The meeting helped the project develop a number of useful contacts, several of which were followed up with interviews or meetings, and also helped further refine the research design.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Opening Stakeholder Workshop, Dairy (Tanzania) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact We held a half-day opening stakeholder workshop for the Tanzanian dairy value chain on Tuesday 18th June 2019. This was held at the ESRF offices in Dar es Salaam. It was attended by approximately 30 people, including a range of policy stakeholders from the Tanzanian government, industry associations and statutory bodies. The meeting introduced key dairy industry impact stakeholders to the project through brief presentations from research team members. The meetings also served to help the team identify key issues from the perspective of the industry stakeholders, and this was achieved through presentations given by key stakeholders and a facilitated dialogue. The meeting helped the project develop relationships with stakeholders who we will follow up with at later points in the project for meetings, interviews, provision of data, and further impact activities. The insights provided by stakeholders in the dialogues also helped the research team refine the research design.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Opening Stakeholder Workshop, Maize (South Africa) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact We held a half-day opening stakeholder workshop for the South African maize value chain on Monday 8th July 2019. This was held at the CCRED offices in Johannesburg. It was attended by 31 people, including a range of policy stakeholders from the South African government's Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Agricultre, Forestry and Fisheries, and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. It was also attended by industry stakeholders from organisations such as GrainSA and the National Chamber of Milling. The meetings served to introduce the project to key impact stakeholders at an early stage with a view to building and enhancing relationships, and involved presentations from the research team for this purpose. The meetings also served to help the team identify key issues from the perspective of the industry stakeholders, and this was achieved through presentations given by key stakeholders and a facilitated dialogue. The meeting helped the project develop a number of useful contacts, several of which were followed up with interviews or meetings, and also helped further refine the research design.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Opening Stakeholder Workshop, Maize (Tanzania) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact We held a half-day opening stakeholder workshop for the Tanzanian maize value chain on Wednesday 19th June 2019. This was held at the ESRF offices in Dar es Salaam. It was attended by approximately 30 people, including a range of policy stakeholders from the Tanzanian government, industry associations and statutory bodies. The meeting introduced key maize industry impact stakeholders to the project through brief presentations from research team members. The meetings also served to help the team identify key issues from the perspective of the industry stakeholders, and this was achieved through presentations given by key stakeholders and a facilitated dialogue. The meeting helped the project develop relationships with stakeholders who we will follow up with at later points in the project for meetings, interviews, provision of data, and further impact activities. The insights provided by stakeholders in the dialogues also helped the research team refine the research design.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Presentation at Public-Private Dialogue on Improving Competitiveness of Agribusiness SMMEs through inclusive value chain development (South Africa) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Co-I Das Nair was invited by contacts we have developed through the project at the South African government's Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development to present emerging insights from the project at the event 'Public-Private Dialogue on Improving Competitiveness of Agribusiness SMMEs through inclusive value chain development' in Gauteng, 12 February 2020. The event was attended by a range of stakeholders from government and industry. It helped to exchange knowledge arising from the project and develop new contacts.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Project briefs for wider audience 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The team wrote short updates on research findings and emerging insights, presented in 8 page PDFs free to download from the project website. These were promoted via the social media accounts.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://iiap.info/publications/