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Tanzania: Tanzania Agriculture Profile



Tanzania’s agriculture sector is extremely diverse with crop production that accounts for 55% of agricultural, livestock for 30% and natural resources for 15% by 2011. Agriculture contributes about 45% to GDP and brings approximately 66% of foreign exchange and provides the bulk of raw materials for local industries.


Tanzania receives about 1,200 – 1,500 mm of rainfall per year. Rainfall distribution is good and reliable. The zone is located on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Meru, Hanang, Monduli, Pare and Ngorongoro mountain ranges and is good for agriculture.

 Crops grown in Tanzania

Tanzania’s key agricultural crops include coffee, cotton, tobacco, cashew nuts, tea, sisal fibre, cocoa, sugar cane, pyrethrum, pineapples, bananas, beans, soybeans, passion, cassava and sorghum


Volcanic soils: they are predominate in Arusha, Kilimanjaro and South west Highlands, Kitulo plateau

Light sandy soils: predominate in the coastal areas.

Soils of granite/gneiss origin: mainly in mid-west especially in Mwanza and Tabora.

Red soils: occupy most of central plateau.

Ironstone soils: found in the far west mainly in Kagera, Kigoma and Sumbawanga.


Livestock production is one of the major agricultural activities in Tanzania.  The sub sector contributes to national food supply, converts rangelands resources into products suitable for human consumption and is a source of cash incomes. It provides about 30 per cent of the Agricultural GDP.

Investment opportunities

  • The establishment of farm machinery and equipments plants
  • The operation of tractor hire centers
  • The establishment of ox training centers
  • The establishment of training institutes
  • Development of human and animal power technologies
  • The establishment of agricultural information centers.
  • Opening up new large scale coffee estates in Ruvuma, Mbeya, Iringa, Kigoma and Arusha regions.
  • Establishment of larger scale cotton production farms particularly in Morogoro, Coast, Singida, Tanga and Iringa regions.
  • Establishing textile and spinning industries
  • Establishment of spice production, processing and marketing infrastructure in the coastal and high altitude areas of Tanga, Cost, Mtwara, Lindi, Morogoro, Mbeya, Kilimanjaro, Kagera and Kigoma regions.


The sector is faced with the following challenges;


  • Inadequate rural infrastructure
  • Limited capital and access to financial services
  • Lack of adequate tax and non-tax investment incentives in agriculture
  • Limited use of mechanical power because of the size of the farms
  • Limited support services in terms of extension services , research and development
  • The level of agro-processing infrastructure in Tanzania is very low. The unprocessed crops fetch low prices on the market
  • Limited access to markets

Regulatory Framework

Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives:
The Ministry is responsible delivering quality agricultural and cooperative services, provide conducive environment to stakeholders, build capacity of local Government Authorities and facilitate the private sector to contribute effectively to sustainable agricultural production, productivity and cooperative development.

Agriculture Policy of 1997
Agricultural policy was amended in 1997 with ultimate goal for improvement of the well being of the people whose principal occupation and way of life is based on agriculture.

Objectives of the policy

  • To assure basic food security for the nation and to improve national standards of nutrition by increasing output, quality and availability of food commodities.
  • To improve standards of in the rural areas through increased income generation from agricultural and livestock production.
  • To increase foreign exchange earnings for the nation by encouraging the production and increased exportation of cash crops and livestock products.
  • To produce and supply raw materials, including industrial crops, livestock, by-products and residues for local industries.

The Agricultural Sector Development Strategy (ASDS)
The Agricultural Sector Development Strategy provides a basis for action by both the public and private sectors to support Tanzania’s efforts to stimulate agricultural growth and to reduce rural poverty.

The Agricultural Sector Development Programme (ASDP)
The Agricultural Sector Development Programme (ASDP) is a tool for implementing the Agricultural Sector Development Strategy.

Agricultural Sector Lead Ministries (ASLM)
Responsible for formulating, review sectoral policies, monitor performance, provide and supervise the implementation of regulatory services for crop and livestock development, marketing and farmers’ organizations in the agriculture sector.

The District Agriculture Development Programme (DADP)
The District Agriculture Development Programme (DADP) is intended to mainstream agricultural development in the overall District Development Plans using participatory planning methodologies.