Analytical framework of the Vegi-Leg project

To overcome different forms of malnutrition, the Vegi-Leg project will develop innovative approaches with the overall aim to improve the nutritional status of local populations in Mozambique and Tanzania by improved food processing and food preservation techniques. It will target challenges by applying a holistic participatory multi-actor approach using food value chains as analytical framework (figure 1). By doing so, the project focusses on five focus areas (FA) for further analyses and interventions.

Case study sites


Figure 1: Vegi-Leg approach and focus areas for interventions in 2018-2021

Focus Area 1: Food Value Chains

The project will analyse the relationships and interactions of pigeon peas (PP) and African indigenous vegetables (AIV) value chains in the study sites and the wider regions. Contact points will be identified to ease implementation of more sustainable practices along the PP and AIV value chains with an emphasis on food processing technologies and preservation. The project will focus on the following analyses:

  • Conducting a qualitative scoping study per country to identify and define the typical value chains of crops of interest and to define the current the food security situation.
  • Baseline analysis (household surveys) to identify socio-economic parameters, production structures, processing and consumption patterns. Furthermore, the nutritional status will be assessed using anthropometric measurements and by measuring haemoglobin levels of the study population.
  • Assessment of natural resource production systems and quantitative analysis of nutrient profiles of PPs and AIVs.
  • Inventory of traditional processing and storage methods including quantitative and qualitative assessment of post-harvest food losses as well as energetic requirements for sustainable processing.

Focus Area 2: Stakeholder Involvement, Controlling and Evaluation

Vegi-Leg involves all important and relevant stakeholder groups in the project to guarantee successful implementation, sustainability beyond project lifetime and high-ranking scientific results. The project will focus on the following activities:

  • Define the key stakeholder groups including respective sub-groups.
  • Discuss as an expert assembly all questions at scientific level.
  • Form a group of actors at village level for targeted community action and community communication.
  • Involve policymakers and other decision makers on various levels as to influence policy programs at local, regional and national scales.

Focus Area 3: Innovation Development and Evaluation

The project will identify and develop improved and innovative processing technologies to generate processed products with an improved shelf life to guarantee perennial availability of nutrient-dense foods and potential income. Promising (technological) innovations adapted to the rural setting will be in the focus of the project. The project will concentrate on the following activities:

  • Participatory development and testing of promising local innovations for processing PP and AIV (nutrient-sensitive processing technologies)
  • Analyses of changes in micronutrient and protein profile before and after processing (e.g. improved solar drying)
  • Market and energy potential analysis of improved processing technologies and corresponding products.
  • Multi-actor technology development – Establishment of small/medium processing enterprises (SMEs).

Focus Area 4: Capacity Development – Training and Education

Vegi-Leg will design and implement a tailored capacity development program at local level, including explicit upgrading pathways. Key issues to be addressed are (1) to ensure awareness of nutrient-dense processed foods; (2) to increase knowledge on nutrient-sensitive preparation and processing techniques on household level, (3) to elaborate tailored strategies to cope with nutrient-dense food scarcity especially during the dry season. The project will focus on the following activities:

  • Education and empowerment of especially women at community and regional level.
  • Training on processing techniques at community and regional level.

Focus Area 4: Knowledge Transfer, Implementation and Dissemination

Vegi-Leg will ensure the transfer and effective dissemination of Vegi-Leg results into practice (firstly among project partners and secondly to all levels and types of stakeholders). The project will focus on the following activities:

  • The entire project components will be implemented at local and regional level
  • Implementation of projects’ key findings to improve university education program (focus on Bachelor)
  • Policy implementation targets regional and national policy programs.

Figure 2: Vegi-Leg study sites