S02.2–KSU, Enhancing Value-Chain Performance through Improved Understanding of Consumer Behavior and Decision-Making

Kansas State University as Lead University

U.S. PIs and Institutions and Collaborating Host Countries

Lead U.S. PI

  • Vincent Amanor-Boadu, Kansas State University

Collaborating Scientists: U.S.

  • Allen Featherstone, Kansas State University
  • Kara Ross, Kansas State University

Collaborating Scientists: International

  • Gelson Tembo, University of Zambia
  • Lawrence Mapemba, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Malawi
  • Fredy Kilima, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania

Project Problem Statement and Justification (Brief)

Despite their high nutritional profile and knowledge about their nutritional benefits, grain legumes are not high on the food hierarchy in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia.  The challenge confronting producers and their supply chains is how to enhance their competitiveness in their local markets and get the necessary policy support from their government to sustain it.

 This project seeks to make two critical contributions to this challenge. First, it seeks to develop a clearer appreciation of the factors influencing grain legume consumption in the three countries to provide empirical direction for market and policy development.  Second, it seeks to provide training and capacity building support for the industry’s stakeholders to seize identified opportunities and address existing and emerging challenges.  When this project succeeds, it will contribute to creating value in the grain legume value chain.


  1. Identify and analyze the factors shaping bean/cowpea consumption and their relative positions in consumers’ food rankings in the selected countries.
  2. Conduct situation analyses for bean/cowpea production and marketing/distribution systems with a view to identifying the nature and extent of the gaps in their value chains.
  3. Implement formal and informal capacity building initiatives to address identified gaps and support value chain management capacity across the grain legume industry in the focus countries. 

Target Outputs:

  1. A reporting detailing the relative position of beans/cowpeas in consumers’ food ranking in Zambia
  2. Report describing the factors that define consumption of beans/cowpeas in Zambia and the attendant response of consumption to changes in the various factors (elasticities)
  3. The draft of a policy brief report on addressing the bean/cowpea consumption challenge in Zambia and its potential implications for production and smallholder producer wellbeing.  This draft policy document will be in circulation for comments by collaborators.