The majority of Tanzania’s population lives in rural areas and the agricultural sector employs more than 80% of the population. Agriculture is the main economic activity, accounting for 24.6 per cent of GDP and 26 per cent of foreign exchange earnings.

In view of its importance to the country’s economy, the trend in Tanzania’s agricultural sector has been of concern. During the period 2000-2012, agriculture realised a modest average growth rate of 4.4%, far below the National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (NSGRPI) target of 10% by 20101 . This trend in the growth of the agricultural sector is significant. Moreover it implies deepening poverty for the majority of the rural population. Hence, poverty reduction and development efforts must target the rural economy and population, with a focus on productivity growth of main staple crops.


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