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Opinion: Uncertain Times for Tanzania's Farmers After Ban of Food Exports

Back in 2012, fourth phase President Jakaya Kikwete told an international forum in Arusha that Africa, and Tanzania in particular, stands a better chance of registering a more robust economic growth and sustainable development by boosting agricultural production.

Backing up the former president, FAO has indicated in the past that growth in the agriculture sector in Sub-Sahara Africa is 11 times more effective at reducing poverty than growth in other sectors, like mining. Statistics show that the majority of people in this region depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. The sector contributes about 32 per cent to the economy, and employs over 65 per cent of the labour force.

After a lot of efforts made, between 2012 and 2015, the country managed to produce surplus food. Therefore, we could export grains to neighbouring countries. It should be remembered that in 2011, the President decided to scrap export bans for grains. It was a great moment for hardworking farmers to find new markets.

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