Maize is Tanzania’s most produced and most important cereal crop in terms of food security. Maize production increased by 3%, from 6.1 million tonnes in 2015 to 6.3 million tonnes in 2019.
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.
Smallholders produce over 95% of Tanzania’s maize. The majority of smallholders operate at a subsistence rather than commercial level, with an average landholding of about 0.7 hectares.
Approximately half of all the maize produced in Tanzania comes from the Southern Highlands and is usually grown under low input, rainfed conditions.
To further increase maize productivity, Tanzania has started trials for Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) maize, aimed at demonstrating whether the GMO crop can be effectively grown in the country.