United Republic of Tanzania is an emerging economy with high potential, having made great strides in economic and structural reforms.
The country has an estimated population of 53 million people (2016). About 70 per cent of the people reside in rural areas, divided between the Mainland and Zanzibar island. The population of young people almost doubled between 1990 and 2010 – from 4.4 million to 8.1 million – and will swell to 11 million by 2020. Young people currently account for 30 per cent of the workforce, mainly in agriculture.
The agriculture sector contributes about one quarter of GDP and employs three quarters of all Tanzanian workers. Almost half (45 per cent) of the country’s land is classified as agricultural land and 15 per cent as arable.
Tourism is the top foreign exchange earner. Agriculture, a mainstay of livelihoods for about 70 per cent of households, has continued to post slower growth. The agriculture sector, largely made up of smallholders, has not benefited from the same momentum as other sectors and is in need of investment and modernization.
Poverty is more prevalent in rural areas, which are home to over 80 per cent of the country’s poor and extremely poor people. Although recent economic growth is believed to have trickled down to Tanzania’s poorest people, approximately 70 per cent of Tanzanians continue to live on less than US$2.00 a day.
About 80 per cent of agricultural production in the country comes from subsistence farmers who relying on manual cultivation and rainfed production, making them highly vulnerable to weather shocks. Limited areas are under medium- and large-scale farming. The country imports significant volumes of cereals and pulses, which could be produced nationally.
In Tanzania, IFAD is working to transform the agricultural sector – including crops, livestock and fisheries – to achieve higher and more sustainable productivity, profitability and commercialization, as well as increased smallholder farmer incomes.
Our country strategic opportunities programme is aligned with the government’s second National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty and its Development Vision 2025, as well as a number of agricultural development policies, strategies and investment programmes in the Mainland and Zanzibar.
The IFAD country strategic opportunities programme (2016-2021) has four main strategic objectives, focused on:
- improving institutional performance, coordination and accountability to IFAD target groups and their organizations at central and local levels;
- building more inclusive and resilient value chains of priority commodities, driven by expanded and sustainable access to markets and financial services and by a more inclusive private sector;
- improving climate-resilient technologies that increase productivity in priority crop, livestock and fishery commodities; and
- strengthening land governance, enabling more inclusive public and private investments in agriculture.
Tourism in Tanzania is the top foreign exchange earner, and agriculture, a mainstay of livelihoods for about 70 per cent of households, has continued to post slower growth.
Approximately 12 million Tanzanians still live below the national poverty line, almost unchanged from 2007, due to high population growth.
Since 1978, IFAD has supported 16 projects and programmes in the country for a total amount of US$430.1 million, benefiting almost 4 million poor rural households.