Tanzania has excellent potential for agriculture-led economic growth. The country has abundant land, water resources, motivated agricultural entrepreneurs and access to international markets through a major port. Women are already participating in value chain work and there is the opportunity to both engage and empower them as beneficiaries. The climate is generally favorable for many crops, and with increased irrigation and improved seeds, productivity and yields could rapidly increase.
Through Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, USAID has focused its investments both geographically, within the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania, and on specific products such as rice, maize and horticulture. In partnership with the Government of Tanzania, donor partners, civil society and the private sector, USAID is improving the incomes of smallholder farmers as well as nutrition.
USAID seeks to significantly boost annual yields of targeted crops through better irrigation, and improve market access through construction of rural feeder roads. These activities complement USAID’s efforts to improve farmer productivity, the nutritional value of crops, and the quality of processing, storage and marketing. In Zanzibar, USAID works with smallholder farmers to produce fruits and vegetables for the hospitality sector and spices for export. USAID also focuses on vulnerable populations by training HIV-positive farmers in horticulture techniques and helping women to establish village savings and loan groups.
By engaging with government, civil society and private sector partners, USAID promotes enabling policies for private sector investment, trade and nutrition. USAID also develops national capacity for policy, planning and coordination. Through collaborative research with local institutions, USAID also enhance Tanzania’s ability to innovate and improve productivity.
Agriculture and Nutrition
As part of a comprehensive approach to nutrition through both Feed the Future and the Global Health Initiative, USAID focuses on reducing rates of chronic under-nutrition and maternal anemia through stronger integrated health and agriculture programs and services at the district and community levels.
USAID is focusing its efforts in areas with high rates of chronic malnutrition. In these areas, half of all children are undernourished. In Tanzania as a whole, over 58 percent of pregnant women are affected by maternal iron deficiency, which increases their risk of death during childbirth. Key factors driving under-nutrition in these regions are the lack of diverse and quality diets at household level, inadequate access to health services (including water, sanitation and hygiene), and poor caring and feeding practices.
USAID is helping to improve household nutrition by supporting the government in the development of a national education platform that will promote dietary diversity. USAID is scaling up social and behavior change efforts to improve infant and young child feeding practices, including exclusive breastfeeding, complementary feeding, hand washing and micronutrient supplementation to prevent iron and vitamin A deficiencies. USAID also works with the private sector to fortify staple foods, such as wheat, maize, flour and edible oil.
Feed the Future aims to benefit more than a million children and reduce stunting and maternal anemia by 30 percent across the next five years in targeted regions. USAID’s nutrition programming is fully aligned with the Government of Tanzania’s national nutrition strategy, and supports the government in meaningfully integrating nutrition in to agricultural interventions.
Last updated: May 10, 2013