Tanzania recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Zimbabwe for the export of 100,000t of maize in 2016–2017 at USD345 per ton.
Tanzania’s main staple crops include maize, sorghum, millet, rice, wheat, beans, cassava, potatoes, and bananas.
Tanzania’s crop production increased at a rate of 3.4% in Q2 2016 thanks to increased production of maize, paddy, sorghum, beans, and round potato.
Maize production went up by 35.3%, from 1,054t in Q2 2015 to 1,426t in Q2 2016, paddy increased by 47.6% from 775t to 1,144t, sorghum by 14.4%, from 410t to 469t, beans by 74.8% from 266t to 465t, and round potato by 38.1%, from 134t to 185t.
Maize is Tanzania’s most important cereal crop in terms of food security. The country’s maize production amounted to 6m t in 2015, compared to 4.7m t in 2010, representing an increase of 28%.
To further increase maize productivity, Tanzania started its first trial for Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) maize, aimed at demonstrating whether the GMO crop can be effectively grown in the country.
Tanzania consumes 90% of its maize production and exports the rest mainly to Kenya (80%), as well as Somalia, Burundi, South Sudan, Rwanda and Uganda.
According to Tanzania’s Ministry of Agriculture, the country’s production in 2016–2017 is expected to reach 6.3m t against a domestic demand of 5.2m t.
However, crops productivity in Tanzania is still low by global standards as smallholder crop farmers have little access to modern farm technologies and inputs, relying instead on rain-fed farming.
As a result, only 280,000 of an available 29m hectare of irrigable land are currently being farmed.
The Government of Tanzania is working to address these challenges by creating stronger links between commercial and smallholder farming.
Tanzania Crops Export
Tanzania’s main exported cash crops are tobacco, cashew nuts, coffee, tea, cloves, cotton, and sisal.
Raw tobacco represents Tanzania’s most important exported cash crop growing from USD 169m worth of exports in 2010 to USD 318m in 2015, followed by cashews which grew from USD 50m to USD 201m, and coffee from USD 109m to USD 162m in the same period.
The top export destinations of the Tanzanian tobacco are Germany, Russia, and Poland, while almost 80% of cashews are exported to India.
According to a study by the European Commission, Tanzania presents significant opportunities for investments in export agriculture thanks to the availability of land and its membership in two regional trade groups: the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Tanzania’s agriculture sector grew at a rate of 3.2% in Q2 2016, reaching TZS3.8tn, compared to TZS2.5tn in Q2 2015.
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