Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Working Paper
Title Agricultural growth and poverty reduction in Tanzania 2000-2010: where has agriculture worked for the poor and what can we learn from this?
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
URL https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/57a08ac2e5274a27b2000759/WP208-Mashindano.pdf
Agriculture is an economic activity important to achieving the poverty reduction strategy
goals of Tanzania. Growth in agriculture has made contributions to GDP, foreign exchange
earnings, and income poverty reduction. However, despite high growth, the growth pattern in
agriculture (which employed about 70 percent of the population between 1998 and 2009) is
not reflected in poverty reduction, particularly in rural areas. Using quantitative and
qualitative data collected from rural farmers in Mwanza, Newala and Rukwa regions, this
paper unpacks growth and poverty transmission routes, identifies growth barriers for
agricultural incomes, and analyses where agricultural growth has occurred and if that growth
has been transmitted into poverty reduction. Findings indicate that the pattern of economic
growth in the past decade was largely influenced by the service and industry sectors; and
less by agriculture where annual growth has been slow, following persistent low and
declining productivity caused by low utilisation of fertiliser and improved seeds, and the low
rate of mechanisation. Evidence gathered from our six research sites also noted barriers to
production and markets. Trade and export of cashew nuts and non-traditional items like
mango and cut flowers were important routes for income growth, but poor farmers had
limited access compared to their richer counterparts. We conclude in this paper that further
measures are needed to stimulate higher productivity and income growth associated with
new technology, secure markets, mixed farming (diversification of crops and livestock) and
efficient institutions (warehouse and credit schemes).

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