Agriculture in Tanzania

It is critical to understand agriculture in Tanzania in order to understand development efforts. The following has been extracted from Wikipedia and is available at .

Agriculture is the main part of Tanzania’s economy. As of 2016, Tanzania had over 44 million hectares of arable land with only 33 percent of this amount in cultivation. Almost 70 percent of the poor population live in rural areas, and almost all of them are involved in the farming sector. Land is a vital asset in ensuring food security, and among the nine main food crops in Tanzania are maize, sorghum, millet, rice, wheat, beans, cassava, potatoes, and bananas. The agricultural industry makes a large contribution to the country’s foreign exchange earnings, with more than US$1 billion in earnings from cash crop exports.

The 7 main cash crops are as follows; Coffee, Sisal, Cashew nuts, Tea, Cotton, Tobbacco. At one point in its agricultural history, Tanzania was the largest producer of sisal in the world.

The agriculture sector faces various challenges and had been the governments top priority to develop to reduce poverty and increase productivity. Farming efficiently has been a challenge for many farmers, and lack of finances and farming education has caused many to remain subsistence farmers. Farm sizes remain very small with an average plot size being around 2.5 ha.

Challenges on the Agriculture Industry of Tanzania include lack of agricultural technology, droughts and floods. These pose severe challenges to the living standards of most of people involved in the Agriculture Industry in Tanzania and create huge increases in unemployment, hunger, malnutrition and starvation, and diseases rates.

Large declines in commodity prices, decreased export revenues, increased trade and budget deficits all amount to hindering the growth of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). The Agriculture Industry in Tanzania represents 32.4 percent of GDP of Tanzania.

Main crop production


The ten non-cash crop production as reported by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations as below table:

Number Food Crop Area Harvested Yield Hg/Ha Production, 1000 tonnes
1 Casava 950,000 56,842 5,400
2 Maize 4,000,000 11,750 4,700
3 Sweet Potatoes 675,000 45,926 3,100
4 Sugar Cane 30,000 1,000,000 3,000
5 Rice, Paddy 900,000 20,889 1,880
6 Potatoes 175,000 74,286 1,300
7 Beans, dry 1,300,000 8,846 1,150
8 Sunflower seed 810,000 13,370 1,083
9 Sorghum 900,000 9,444 850
10 Groundnuts, w shell 740,000 10,608 785
Source: FAO

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