In Tanzania cassava is a major subsistence crop, after maize, especially in Tanzania’s semi-arid areas where, due to its drought tolerance, cassava is sometimes considered a famine reserve when cereals fail.
Most of the cassava production of Tanzania (84%) is for human consumption, and the remainder is used for animal feed, alcohol brewing, and starch production.
Tanzania Cassava Production
Cassava production in Tanzania stood at 5.58 million tonnes in 2019. In that year Tanzania was the 11th largest cassava producer in the world and the 6th largest in Africa after Nigeria (top producer in the word), Ghana, DRC, Angola, and Mozambique.
The main production areas of cassava in Tanzania are Mwanza, Mtwara, Lindi, Shinyanga, Tanga Ruvuma, Mara Kigoma, the coastal regions, and Zanzibar.
Cassava productivity in Tanzania stands at about 8 tonnes per hectare which is well below its estimated potential yield of 20 tonnes per hectare.
Low yields arise because the majority of farmers use local varieties with low genetic potential and susceptibility to major diseases and insect pests.
Cassava Demand in Tanzania
Cassava demand in Tanzania stands between 530,000 tonnes and 640,000 tonnes of cassava root per year.
The following sectors have been identified as drivers of local cassava demand: milling, animal feed, beer and beverages, sweets, snacks, starch manufacture, textile factories, paper mills and hardboard, paint, and pharmaceuticals.
Improvements in Tanzania’s Cassava Production
In 2019, Tanzania’s Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa Majaliwa inaugurated the country’s first high-quality cassava flour factory in the coastal region on Lindi.
The factory, part of Cassava Starch of Tanzania Corporation (CSTC) that grows and processes cassava in 800 hectares on the Makonde Platea, will produce more than 6,000 metric tons of high-quality cassava flour per year.
CSTC has been operating since 2012 with the objective of identifying and developing the best variety of cassava for high-quality flour and native starch, for the domestic use and exports.