United Republic of Tanzania

The United Republic of Tanzania ranked 152nd out of 187 in the 2011 UN Human Development Index and 54th out of 79 on the 2012 Global Hunger Index. While Tanzania remains a low-income country, it has experienced relatively stable growth in recent decades, accelerating from 3.5% in the 1990s to approximately 7 percent in the 2000s.. Effective fiscal and monetary policies largely insulated the country from recent international shocks; the maintenance of such policies, as well as investment in infrastructure and business, are needed for such growth to continue (World Bank 2012).

Despite its economic growth, poverty remains prevalent in the country, particularly in rural areas. Approximately 30 million people, or 75 percent of the population, live in rural households; such households make up 80 percent of the country’s poor (World Bank 2012).

Agriculture accounts for 45 percent of Tanzania’s GDP, as well as the livelihoods of some 80 percent of the country’s population (WFP 2012). While Tanzania’s food self-sufficiency has ranged from 88 to 112 percent over the past 8 years, localized food deficits are rampant. Agricultural productivity remains low and poses a significant challenge to poverty reduction and food security. Tanzania’s agriculture faces challenges from low adoption of new technologies, limited infrastructure and high transportation costs, a lack of adequate market access, and high rates of taxation and non-tariff trade barriers. The government of Tanzania has made recent commitments to agricultural reform and improvement, such as the Agriculture First program. A growing share of the country’s budget is being allocated to agriculture, while agribusiness development is being encouraged under such programs as the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT).

Among African countries, Tanzania has some of the highest levels of malnutrition. Approximately 42 percent of children under five suffer from malnutrition and stunting (WFP 2012).

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