Background to the study: Agriculture is the leading sector of the Tanzanian economy and the most critical for inclusive pro-poor growth. Agriculture provides employment for more than three-quarters of the population, accounts for 75% of the country’s exports, and contributes almost 50% to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Cocoa was introduced into Tanzania in the 1950s and was being grown commercially within a decade. Although it tends to be considered a relatively minor non-traditional cash crop, it currently supports an estimated 25,000 farmers and their families (or around 100,000 people). At the moment, around 80% of the country’s crop comes from a single district – Kyela in Mbeya region – where conditions for cocoa cultivation are near perfect. The majority of plants are grown there in organic conditions, by smallholders on plots well below a hectare, and sold directly from farms for export. The distinctive flavour of Tanzanian cocoa has recently been attracting the attention of the international cocoa world, but much is still needed for the country’s crop to reach its full potential.
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