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Report, 2018

Local and regional variations in conditions for agriculture and food security in Tanzania

Suleiman, Rashid


In Tanzania, agriculture is considered the backbone of the economy, contributing about 30% of the total GDP. It is the livelihood of 65 to 70% of the population and accounts for close to three quarters of rural incomes. Agriculture in Tanzania is dominated by smallholder farmers who occupy a large portion of the farmland and produce most of the crop and livestock products. Smallholder farmers play a vital role in agricultural production and food security. Food insecurity is directly linked to poverty and poor agricultural performance among smallholder farmers. The aim of this study was to review available literature on the local and regional variations of agricultural conditions and food security for smallholder farmers in Tanzania and to identify the main constraints along the different value chains. The study was carried out for three months, and the internet was a major source of information and data. The agricultural sector in Tanzania comprises food and cash crops as well as livestock production. Food crops are cereals, pulses, roots and tubers, important cash crops include coffee, tea, tobacco and cashew nuts. The main livestock kept in Tanzania are cattle, goats, sheep, pigs and poultry. The study found that agriculture in Tanzania, as in most other Sub-Saharan African countries, has failed to become an engine of growth and economic transformation due to constraints along the value chain. These constraints include land tenure and management, access to input and output markets, and access agricultural extension and agricultural credit as well as the risk posed by climate change. Moreover, a number of crosscutting issues closely linked to rural development, such as the situation of women and youth, increasing urbanization, and the effects of the HIV-epidemic. Finally, the strategies likely to strengthen the position of smallholder farmers should include measures to enable them to benefit from high-value agricultural markets, improve their market access and value chain competitiveness, as well as to promote farmers organizations and contract farming.


agriculture and food security; Tanzania

Published in

AgriFoSe2030 Report
2018, number: 10
eISBN: 978-91-576-9595-6
Publisher: SLU Global, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Authors' information

Suleiman, Rashid
Sokoine University of Agriculture

UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

URI (permanent link to this page)