The FAO/WFP assessment mission was fielded to the country from the 15 to 31 January 1998 and made its assessment on the basis of extensive field visits to main bimodal and unimodal rainfall areas and on discussions with key Government Ministries and Departments and UN, bilateral, private sector agencies and NGOs involved in the food sector.
In reviewing the overall food supply situation for Tanzania for 1997/98, the mission notes an important limitation in not being able physically to assess the outcome of the 1997 long rains and Masika crops which constitute the main source of annual domestic food supply. The Mission found that much more than normal years the food supply situation in the country is heavily influenced by transport and accessibility. In areas that have not been severely affected by transport disruptions and where markets are functioning relatively efficiently, for example Dar es Salaam, Morogoro and Arusha, the food supply situation appears reasonably stable, prices have remained on trend and have not increased abnormally in response to shortages. Indeed, in accessible markets the average domestic wholesale price of maize in the period September to December last year remained markedly below international (CIF) prices, which may have deterred the private sector from importing larger quantities of grain in spite of the official waiver on maize duties. In contrast, in areas that had a poor harvest last year and have additionally become isolated due to transport difficulties, there is serious concern over food shortages. In these areas prices have risen sharply as movement of food, and indeed other essential goods, has become highly problematic. Also at risk are vulnerable sectors of the population who have lost crops and assets and have extremely limited purchasing power to procure food.
In appreciation of this duality, the mission concludes that the immediate priority for any appeals for international assistance should be focused on transport constraints and moving food as soon as possible to areas of need rather than on injecting further quantities of relief food.
In spite of the widespread devastation caused by floods to agriculture, infrastructure and the economy since last year, increased rainfall has, overall, had some beneficial effect on Vuli production. Although serious crop losses were sustained in low-lying clay areas and river valleys, it is estimated increased production in higher areas and predominantly sandy loam soils, which benefited from increased precipitation, will to some extent off-set these losses. Moreover, in the aftermath of several years of drought, farmers in most areas increased planting of security food crops such as cassava and sweet potatoes, which are expected to do well this year.
The mission notes however, that lack of funds to purchase improved seed and fertiliser, the cost of which has increased sharply since the removal of subsidies, has significantly reduced input use and hence potential production, especially of staples like maize in some regions. Moreover, soils are becoming infertile, following years of continuous cropping and urgently need supplies of nitrogen in particular. International assistance in this regard, to ensure enhanced food security in vulnerable areas, should also be considered.
Based on area and yield estimates, and using conventional factors for converting non-cereal crops to cereals, the 1998 Vuli crop is estimated at some 1.58 million tons of food in cereal equivalent. Taking into account estimated food stocks available at the beginning of February, domestic availability in cereal equivalent is estimated at around 1.93 million tons. Against this, utilisation needs, including allowances for seed, feed and waste and closing strategic stocks, are estimated at 2.18 million tons, leaving the country with an import requirement of approximately 250 000 tons of cereals for the remaining four months (Feb-May) of the 1997/98 marketing year. Of this, commercial and food aid imports in the pipeline amount to 59 000 tons (mostly wheat and rice) and 32 000 tons respectively. Should the relationship between domestic and international prices of maize become more attractive, the private sector can be expected to purchase the balance. In this regard, there is higher probability of this happening now than hitherto, as international prices of white maize are expected to fall as fears of a substantially reduced crop in Southern Africa recede.
Given this yearís El Nino, the outcome of the 1998 Masika and long rains
crop and immediate food security prospects, will depend on rainfall in
the next two critical months. If the season progresses more or less normally,
with a dry spell in early February to allow land preparation and planting,
output of both crops should be good given enhanced soil moisture levels.
As the overall food supply situation remains tenuous, the Government may
consider a subsequent food supply appraisal at that time.
The economy is heavily dependent on agriculture, which is the principal determinant of growth. In 1995, some 57 percent of GDP was from agriculture, while other productive sectors like mining and manufacturing collectively contributed less than 10 percent and transport and trade 22 percent combined. The main cash and export crops are coffee and cotton, followed by tea, sisal, tobacco, cashew nuts and cloves. In spite of its importance, government expenditure on agriculture in the last two decades has been declining while the sectorís contribution to GDP has been increasing.
The agriculture sector is also the countryís principal export earner. One important repercussion of the heavy rainfall and floods since late 1997 will be the serious effect these will have on coffee and cotton production, which may result in significant decline in export volumes. The export sector is heavily dependent on these crops, which contributed some 63 percent of traditional commodity exports in 1995/96. In addition, the Association of Coffee Producing Countries (ACPC) forecasts an overall increase in supply from Central American countries, which will have a depressing effect on prices and export revenues for Tanzania. Moreover, revenues from tobacco exports may also be affected by lower production and quality due to a serious shortage of fertiliser, whilst the ongoing ban on maize exports may restrict earnings from established markets in neighbouring countries. To a small extent, however, the decline in export revenues may be offset by increased cashew exports due to increased production in southern areas where rainfall has been generally favourable for the crop. There are also strong indications that household incomes from cashew will increase due to enhanced production and sales this year, which will improve food security prospects somewhat.
Overall, despite some improvement in the trade balance late last year, the countryís external deficit is likely to worsen in the coming months due to falling export revenues and increasing pressures on food and other imports. Given the Governmentís balance of payments difficulties, its need to maintain financial discipline in the economy coupled with requirements to service external debts, means that it has very little scope for financing food imports without substantial budgetary support. In appreciation of this and in keeping with the drive towards market liberalisation any additional food imports will have to come through the private sector, which in turn has to have appropriate financial inducements.
The efficient functioning of the economy, markets and the agriculture sector in particular are highly constrained by a grossly inadequate internal transport system. Access to rural areas remains particularly difficult, with only an estimated 10 percent of roads to these areas in reasonable condition. Needless to say that severe transport disruption this year will greatly add to problem of communication and food transportation.
This year, markets have become increasingly dysfunctional in many areas, with prices reflecting supply constraints due to inaccessibility rather than overall scarcity. In other words in some areas food may be available but simply cannot be transported to areas of need. This has had a distinct effect on prices where in areas of surplus they have fallen and correspondingly increased in deficit areas for the contrary reason. Reports suggest that in some cases the distance between the two is less than 10 kilometres.
In January, which is normally a dry month in Vuli areas, heavy rainfall continued, with Arusha, for example, receiving 214 per cent of normal monthly precipitation in the first two dekads. The continuation of rains into January hampered land preparation for Masika crops, which are normally planted after the January/February dry period. Rains continued up to the time of the Missionís visit in the second half of January, with Same and Moshi in Kilimanjaro Region recording 510 and 897 percent, respectively of long term average rainfall in the first two dekads of the month.
In unimodal areas the rains started in late October/early November and continued up to late January, with Mbeya receiving 286 percent of normal rainfall up to the end of December. Almost all areas recorded above average rainfall between October and December, with the exception of Songea, which received 92 percent of normal precipitation.
The main effect of the intensive rainfall was heavy flooding in low-lying areas, especially in heavy clay areas of Shinyanga, parts of Mara, Arusha, Kilimangaro, Iringa and along the coast north of Lindi. The cotton crop, which is normally grown on these soils in Shinyanga, Mara and Mwanza, was significantly damaged.
Following the failure of the Vuli rains in 1996-97 and poor distribution of Masika rains in some areas, farmers in bimodal areas of the country and in Dodoma, Singida, Tabora and Mwanza Regions, increased plantings of drought tolerant crops including sweet potato, cassava, millet and sorghum. However, in many areas, farmers were unprepared for the early onset of Vuli rains. The high intensity of rainfall also resulted in rapid grass and weed growth, which continues to hamper ploughing and has resulted in waterlogging in some areas. These factors have led to a decline in planted area in some areas. In unimodal-areas, however, farmers took advantage of precipitation to increase the area planted of sweet potato, cassava, maize and sorghum and production of these crops is expected to be good.
Crops on higher ground on free draining sandy or loam soils had adequate
rainfall at all times and are expected to produce good crops of maize,
sorghum, cassava, sweet potato, millet and bananas. However, the bean crop
was adversely affected by incessant rain and yields are expected to decline.
Estimates of planted areas were derived from the following sources:
The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives does not undertake crop
cutting exercises at harvest in order to estimate crop yields. The estimates
of crop yields were based on farm visits, and information and data collected
from farmers and regional and district agricultural staff. In addition,
long term average yield figures from the Ministry of Agriculture at national
and sub national levels were also taken into account.
Production of the 1997/98 Vuli crop is estimated in dry weight, which
approximates cereal equivalent. Despite losses in low-lying areas, upland
crops are expected to yield well and, as a result, aggregate 1998 Vuli
production will be appreciably better than the seriously drought affected
crop in 1997. Production of cassava and sweet potatoes are expected to
increase markedly, due a significant expansion in planted area as large
numbers of farmers have diversified into these crops to enhance household
food security, following a series of poor drought affected Vuli crops in
recent years. Bean production, however, is expected to decline due to the
high rainfall, which has reduced seed set and provided favourable conditions
for the spread of fungal diseases. A summary of aggregate 1998 Vuli production
in cereal equivalent is given in Table 1, whilst Table 2 provides figures
|Crop||Area ('000 ha)||Yield (kg/ha)||Production (tonnes)|
|Total Cereals||564.1||1 390||801.2|
|Total Root Crops||210.8||2 450||516.4|
The widespread damage of roads has prevented normal trade flows for
cattle to markets, mainly in Dar es Salaam. The inability to move stock,
from livestock areas to markets has in turn resulted in significant drop
in prices in important livestock areas such as Shenyanga and Mara. The
price of an ox in January, 1998, was estimated at 20 000-30 000 Tanzanian
shillings, compared to a normal price of around 80 -100 000 Tshs. In regions
like Mara where transport is difficult, the terms of trade for livestock
have dropped significantly, where small ox are now traded for one bag of
maize compared to normal terms of four to five bags.
Overall prospects for the Masika crop depend heavily on the rainfall
pattern from late January to April. Should the season be normal, Masika
crops should produce good yields, given high soil moisture levels following
much higher than average Vuli rains. If heavy rains continue without interruption,
however, less land will be cultivated in Masika areas with continued flooding
of low lying fertile soils reducing potential yields and output.
Crops grown on higher ground in Dodoma, Singida, Tabora, and in parts
of Shinyanga are expected to yield well if the rains continue into late
February. By that time, maize should all be past the critical tasselling
stage. Sorghum and millet on free draining land should also yield well,
while crops on temporarily waterlogged low-lying ground will have reduced
yields. Very good production of cassava, sweet potatoes and bananas is
expected on free draining upland soils. Moreover, the area planted and
yield of rice will be considerably higher due to abundant water availability,
which will more than offset flood losses of rice in lowland areas.
|Region||Area ('000 ha)||Yield (kg/ha)||Production (tonnes)||Area ('000 ha)||Yield (kg/ha)||Production (tonnes)||Area ('000 ha)||Yield (kg/ha)||Production (tonnes)||Area ('000 ha)||Yield (kg/ha)||Production (tonnes)||Area ('000 ha)||Yield (kg/ha)||Production (tonnes)|
|Mara||13.0||1 700||22.1||20.0||1 300||26.0||1.0||1 600||1.6||0.5||1 100||0.6||0.0||0||0.0|
|Arusha||50.0||1 600||80.0||10.0||1 200||12.0||2.6||2 300||5.98||3.4||1 000||3.4||14.0||1 700||23.8|
|Kilimanjaro||30.0||1 500||45.0||1.5||1 300||2.0||3.2||2 500||8||-||-||-||1.2||1 400||1.7|
|Tanga||20.0||1 500||30.0||-||-||-||2.1||1 900||3.99||-||-||-||0.7||1 000||0.7|
|Morogoro||40.0||1 400||56.0||8.0||1 200||9.6||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0|
|Mbeya||20.0||1 600||32.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||1.0||1 800||1.8||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0|
|Kagera||51.0||1 500||76.5||2.7||1 300||3.5||0.1||2 000||0.2||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Kigoma||40.0||1 800||72.0||3.0||1 500||4.5||3.0||2 000||6||0.1||1 000||0.1||-||-||-|
|Mwanza||100.0||1 200||120.0||110.0||1 100||121.0||10.0||1 800||18||1.0||1 000||1.0|
|Region||Area ('000 ha)||Yield (kg/ha)||Production (tonnes)||Area ('000 ha)||Yield (kg/ha)||Production (tonnes)||Area ('000 ha)||Yield (kg/ha)||Production (tonnes)||Area ('000 ha)||Yield (kg/ha)||Production (tonnes)|
|Mara||15.6||2 400||37.4||9.6||2 300||22.1||3.3||700||2.3||0.8||3 000||2.4|
|Arusha||1.1||2 800||3.1||2.3||3 000||6.9||30.0||600||18.0||3.4||2 700||9.2|
|Kilimanjaro||6.0||3 100||18.6||2.5||3 000||7.5||12.8||400||5.1||21.0||2 700||56.7|
|Tanga||26.2||2 500||65.5||4.9||3 000||14.7||0.8||600||0.5||16.0||2 500||40.0|
|Morogoro||20.0||2 400||48.0||1.0||2 000||2.0||10.0||500||5.0||3.0||2 500||7.5|
|Mbeya||1.5||2 400||3.6||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||5.0||2 500||12.5|
|Coast/DSM||28.0||2 600||72.8||1.6||1 500||2.4||0.0||0||0.0||1.6||2 500||4.0|
|Kagera||11.0||2 800||30.8||8.0||2 000||16.0||25.0||900||22.5||14.0||3 000||42.0|
|Kigoma||10.0||2 400||24.0||1.5||2 000||3.0||21.0||900||18.9||3.2||3 000||9.6|
|Mwanza||40.0||2 400||96.0||20.0||2 100||42.0||9.0||500||4.5||1.0||3 000||3.0|
Source Ministry of Agriculture at Regional and District levels and mission estimates.
In the main maize growing areas of Mbeya, Iringa, Ruvuma and .Rukwa,
yields are expected to be reduced by around 10 per cent, assuming that
the rains remain normal. This reduction is mainly due to higher than average
leaching of already scarce nitrogen from topsoils. Following years of continuous
maize production, during which little or no chemical fertilisers were applied,
soils in these high potential areas are becoming exhausted and in the absence
of remedial measures and application of fertiliser, yields are expected
to decline further.
Mwanza has seven districts, five of which were adversely affected by heavy rains. Worst hit were the districts of Kwimba, Magu and Misungwe, which have monomodal rainfall, while the other districts are bimodal. Flooding completely destroyed the cotton and maize crops in low-lying areas in the region. Rice was affected less and a large proportion is expected to be replanted successfully. Up to December, areas planted to food crops were estimated at 319 000 hectares, compared to a target of 601 000 hectares. No disaggregated area figures by crop, or seasonal basis, were available and the figures for maize, sorghum and other food crops are estimates derived by the mission. Overall prospects for rice production this year are favourable as a result of an increase in area planted and improved moisture conditions. Much however depends on rainfall in the coming weeks. Root crops on hillsides, are also expected to do well this year due to an expansion in planting and favourable conditions.
Apart from the widespread presence of tick-borne diseases, livestock were reported to be in generally good condition, with prices in Mwanza town around normal for the time of year. In more remote areas, however, livestock prices have dropped sharply due to transport difficulties and distress selling for purchase of grains.
As in other regions, due to poor harvests in previous year, a major
effort was made by farmers to increase food crop cultivation in 1998. Food
crops have received priority over cash crops, with cotton plantings estimated
at only 81 000 hectares, compared to the target of 188 000 ha. Areas of
cassava and sweet potato have increased considerably and this will have
a very positive effect on food security in the coming months. It is expected
that large quantities of sweet potato will become available by April.
The Vuli crop in Mara accounts in normal years for between 30-40 per
cent of overall crop production. Following a succession of poor Vuli crops
due to drought, farmers planted maize and other food crops in the Mara
River Valley where heavy rains this year destroyed crops. However, crop
production is mainly undertaken on higher ground, where production generally
benefited from rainfall in 1997/98. The Vuli crop in the Tarime Highlands,
a major crop producing area was observed to be in excellent condition and
production of maize and sorghum is expected to increase significantly compared
to last year. Livestock were also observed to be in good condition generally,
though preventive measures against diseases such as liver fluke should
Kilimanjaro has three agro-ecological zones: a) highlands above 1 200 meters, where the main crop is banana, intercropped with coffee, beans and maize; b) the eastern lowlands, which benefits from rain-bearing winds and c) the western lowlands, which normally have a dry climate and where the maize crop often fails due to drought.
The districts of Rombo, Same and Mwanga depend on Vuli rains, which
have failed for the past five years. This year rainfall in Same District
between October and January 20th amounted to 470 mm, compared to an average
for the period of 163 mm. A similar pattern was seen in other districts.
The districts of Moshi Rural and Hai depend mainly on Masika rains and
farmers in these districts were caught unawares by the unexpectedly high
rainfall in November/December and failed to plant food crops. Bananas are
the main staple, providing 70 per cent of total food consumption. The Vuli
crop provides some 30 per cent of overall food needs in Kilimanjaro Region.
Bean crops are expected to show much reduced yields of 400 kg/ha, about
half the level of the previous year.
Arusha has a population of about 1.8 million, most of whom are pastoralists, with livestock rearing as the main economic activity. The 1997/98 season has been especially favourable to livestock, with 786 mm of rain, 328 per cent of normal in Arusha between October and December, 1997.
The rainfall was also favourable for the banana crop, one of the main staple foods in Monduli district.
Following several years during which the Vuli rains failed, many farmers
were not prepared for favourable rainfall this year and consequently were
not in a position to take advantage of good growing conditions. However,
those who did plant may expect good crops of maize. As in Kilimanjaro,
bean crops were not favoured by heavy and continuous rains and yields are
expected to be below average.
The main crops in Tanga are cassava, maize and pulses, with critrus fruit as the main cash crop. The 1997 Vuli season rains in Lushoto District, Tanga, were 1767 mm between October and December, compared to 84 mm during the same period in the previous year. A similar pattern developed over the region, leaving crops planted in low lying areas waterlogged and stunted. Floods destroyed an estimated 960 ha of paddy in Korogwe District. About 1500 ha of cassava growing on low lying sites in Muheza district were damaged, but the rains provided good conditions for replanting crops on higher ground. Weed growth was also encouraged, further damaging crop yield prospects. On higher ground, crops are expected to yield well, especially cassava and bananas.
Land preparation for the Masika crops was hampered by continuous rainfall
Farming in this region is mainly confined to backyard gardens, which
however, produce significant amounts of maize and cassava for home consumption.
Cashew and coconut also provide some income for householders.
Due to time constraints, the Mission could not visit Kigoma. The estimates
of crop production in the Vuli season are taken from estimates from previous
years. Reports from this region state that the 1997/98 Vuli crop is very
The Mission did not visit Kagera due to time constraints, but it had
at its disposal up-to-date estimates from the Ministry of Agriculture and
Rainfall for the 1997/98 season began in late October, with 534 mm falling
up to the end of December. This compares to total rainfall of 282 mm in
the whole of the 1996/97 season. The heavy rains have made weeding difficult
and also resulted in waterlogging and destruction of crops in low lying
areas. The early and unexpected onset of rains also meant that only around
a quarter of farmers had completed land preparation in time. Half of all
farmers proceeded to plant during the rains and an estimated 20 per cent
of farmers are either still planting or have not planted yet. Following
the severe drought in 1997, the Ministry of Agriculture organised an extension
campaign to encourage farmers to grow drought resistant crops, such as
sorghum, millet, cassava and sweet potato, which has been largely successful.
Early prospects for the main 1998 long rains crop are favourable, though
much will depend on rainfall patterns in the next few weeks.
Rainfall began in mid November and continued until mid January during
which a total of 1200 mm was received compared to average rainfall of 650
mm. As a result, scattered areas of flooding were observed though they
formed a small portion of total land area. There were large areas of cultivation
away from lowland areas and river courses which were principally not affected
by floods. Land preparation in upland areas was observed to be progressing
well, though high weed infestation may cause problems. The maize, millet
and sorghum crops were observed to be in generally favourable condition.
In predominantly flat areas like Shelgui, however, it is estimated that
75 percent of crops have been destroyed due to water logging and submergence.
Pastures for livestock are good though in some areas, foot rot and other
diseases may arise due to wet conditions.
The main crop in Tabora is maize, with smaller quantities of rice, cassava
and sweet potatoes grown. The main cash crop is tobacco. Fertiliser provided
by tobacco companies, also benefits maize. The majority of crops in Tabora
were planted on high ground, away from the valley bottoms, which have been
largely flooded and as a result crop damage was observed to be small. Food
crop area this season was estimated to be 60 percent of target by the end
of November. As planting was still continuing in late January, it is expected
that the overall target will be achieved. Due to abundant water availability,
rice plantings, which are continuing, are expected to be well up on previous
years. Farmers are also planting sweet potatoes and cassava on a wide scale
and this will improve food security in this largely sandy soil area. In
general the heavy rains this year have leached much of the nitrogenous
fertilisers applied to tobacco and maize, while the disruption of transport
routes has sharply reduced the amount of fertiliser available by up to
80 per cent of demand. Notwithstanding these constraints, the Mission observed
good maize crops, which are expected to yield over 2 tons/ha. The population
of livestock in the region is relatively small and will benefit greatly
from the availability of excellent pastures.
Shinyanga has had a very wet season, with considerably above normal
rainfall in most areas. As a result, crops planted in low lying areas have
been completely destroyed. The unexpected onset and intensity of rainfall
significantly affected land preparation, which may reduce the overall area
cultivated this year. The rainfall, however, has been favourable for rice
production, which has increased markedly to between two to three times
the area planted last year. Conversely, the area under cotton has declined
sharply, due to waterlogging of low-lying vertisols. The reduction in cotton
production will inevitably have a negative impact on household incomes
later in the year. Heavy rainfall and waterlogging also reduced potential
yields of maize in upland areas and destroyed crops in lowland areas. Sorghum
and millet continue to be planted on higher ground, with good moisture
conditions. As a result of the poor harvest caused by drought in 1997,
farmers have planted large areas of sweet potatoes and this crop, grown
on high ridges was in very good condition during the Missionís visit. Food
security will be much enhanced by this root crop. Cassava is of lesser
importance than sweet potato in the Shinyanga area. Favourable pasture
conditions have increased the livestock population, though there were signs
that wet conditions had increased the incidence of diseases. Due to a breakdown
in transport and marketing systems to main markets in Dar es Salaam, livestock
prices are at an historic low. Grain prices in the region increased sharply
in October as road and rail links with the surplus areas in Arusha and
Iringa were cut. However, prices are expected to fall as the first maize
crop becomes available in early February. Sweet potatoes will also become
available on a wide scale and this will greatly improve food security,
compared to the previous year, when this crop was not so widely grown.
Rukwa Region has four districts, Mpanda, Nkansi, Sumbawanga Rural and
Sumbawanga Urban. Average rainfall ranges between 800-1200 mm annually,
falling between October and April. This year, however, continuous rainfall
hampered land preparation and resulted in flooding in the Rukwa Valley,
which is an important rice growing area. Waterlogging of soils and leaching
of nitrogen also had a negative impact on crop development, which may result
in reduced yields. It is estimated that maize planting declined by 10 per
cent. Due to flooding in paddy areas, some decline in rice production may
also be expected. Although in some areas, bean crops were adversely affected
by continuous rains, overall production is expected to remain similar to
last year. As a food security measure, farmers are being encouraged to
plant cassava, sweet potatoes, cowpeas and pigeon peas as soon as the floods
Iringa has five districts, Iringa, Njombe, Ludewa, Makete and Mufindi. The total area for agricultural and livestock production is estimated at 472 000 ha
The rains began in October in some districts, much earlier than in previous years and in Iringa, total rainfall to December 31st (367 mm) was more than twice the average. Some farmers had not completed land preparation with continuous rainfall further hampering efforts to complete planting operations. However, in marginal rainfall areas rainfall considerably improved production prospects
Pest and disease outbreaks have been at a generally low level. An outbreak of Army Worm in Mufindi and Iringa Districts resulted in the loss of about 400 ha, but the infestation was controlled by the Plant Protection Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.
Livestock were reported to be in good condition reflecting good grazing
conditions throughout the region. No abnormal outbreaks of disease were
Mbeya is one of the major maize producing areas in the country. It lies between 800 to 2 400 metres above sea level, with three main ecological zones, lowland, middle and high altitude.
Most districts of Mbeya have a unimodal rainfall, between November and
April. Rainfall between October and December 1997 was 716 mm, almost three
times the normal level of 250 mm. Rainfall in January was normal, with
120 mm falling in the first 20 days. The heavy rains in November and December
flooded large areas of lowland in Kyela, Kamsamba, Usangu Plains and Msangano,
which are important rice, cotton, sorghum, maize and millet areas. Some
maize was destroyed by flooding while prolonged waterlogging and nutrient
leaching will have an adverse effect on yields. Paddy rice seed is normally
broadcast prior to the fields filling up with flood water. This year, flooding
took place too quickly for broadcasting to be completed and normal crop
establishment could not take place. Some paddy crops in Kyela and in the
Songwe and Rufiji River Basins were destroyed by the floods. Beans are
also an important crop, with an estimated 50 000 ha planted, though heavy
rains may reduce yield. The middle and high altitude zones were less affected
by flooding. Producer prices for maize this year have been low as a result
of marketing problems. As a result farmers incomes and capacity to procure
inputs for the next season may be heavily constrained.
Cassava, sorghum, maize and paddy are the main food crops in Lindi.
Following the unexpected, high rainfall, cassava grown on high ground is
doing very well compared to previous years, with increased areas under
cultivation following drought in previous years which severely damaged
crops. There were ample supplies of maize and dry cassava in the market.
Cassava is the main crop in Mtwara and as a result of favourable rains
this year should produce good yields. Paddy is also produced in small pockets
and is also expected to benefit from the rains as will important cash crops,
cashew and coconut.
Morogoro lies in the transition zone between bimodal and monomodal rainfall
belts. In recent years, Vuli rains have been unreliable and farmers did
not anticipate the high rainfall of October-December, 1997. Rainfall in
Morogoro, at 435 mm for the period October-December, was 206 percent of
normal. At Kilosa, rainfall for the period was 1549 mm in 1997, with 958
mm falling in the last three months of the year, compared to a total of
743 mm in 1996.
Although food prices are an important indicator of generalised scarcity,
in Tanzania given inefficiencies, low purchasing power and lack of integration
in food markets, exacerbated this year by additional transport difficulties,
prices alone are insufficient in reflecting overall food shortages. In
assessing how much of the food problem is supply-related and how much access-related,
an attempt has, therefore, been made to differentiate areas of the country
where markets this year were considered accessible and were assumed to
be functioning reasonably normally, to ascertain whether prices have risen
significantly in response to generalised shortages, and areas where significant
disruptions to transport have occurred physically restricting supplies.
Examples of accessible/functioning markets include Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Moshi, Tanga, Morogoro, Iringa and Mbeya.
In these markets, maize prices would have risen sharply and consistently in the latter part of 1997 had serious shortages developed. Certainly, it would have been reasonable to expect that prices from September onwards would have been similar to or higher than those in the lean period between April and July following the extremely poor Vuli crop in 1997. The increase in prices of maize (markets for and imports of wheat and rice are comparatively small) would in turn have stimulated imports.
However, this did not happen and maize prices in accessible markets have not risen sharply and in relation to seasonal adjustments mentioned above, have more or less remained consistent with trends. Overall, prices have increased in some markets, fallen in others or remained stable, indicating that aggregate supply to these markets has been adequate given the purchasing power of the people. (Table 3 and Fig 1).
Moreover, average domestic maize prices in these markets, in the latter
part of 1997, were also below CIF cost, which meant that in spite of the
Government waiver on import taxes the private sector had little financial
incentive to import. During the months of August, to December, the average
domestic wholesale price of maize, at prevailing exchange rates was between
US $ 146 and $ 163 per ton compared to ex-port (CIF + port transport and
handling costs) costs of between US $ 235 and $ 260 per ton of imported
|Arusha||11 834||10 667||11 167||12 533||12 267||13 267||12 708||11 267||11 982||10 821||8 857||9 262|
|Dar es Salaam||11 337||13 473||14 478||14 303||14 533||13 856||14 000||14 422||13 800||13 914||14 714||15 808|
|Iringa||7 938||9 875||11 917||11 200||11 633||10 983||9 533||8 480||10 125||8 955||10 000||10 592|
|Mbeya||6 300||7 133||8 756||10 000||8 800||8 089||7 487||8 633||8 600||8 691||9 000||9 462|
|Morogoro||11 540||13 000||14 867||15 930||17 877||12 983||10 400||10 795||9 658||10 375||10 983||11 467|
|Moshi||11 944||12 000||12 931||14 538||14 258||15 833||13 333||6 666||8 333||8 333||10 000||8 055|
|Sumbawanga||5 500||5 667||8 327||8 333||8 317||6 150||6 890||6 917||7 355||7 600||8 175||9 000|
|Songea||7 800||8 133||8 945||9 667||9 600||7 278||7 000||7 000||8 500||9 107||9 000||10 975|
|Tanga||13 250||13 983||14 347||16 397||16 520||15 795||12 750||8 333||8 175||8 500||8 557||7 814|
|Average 1997||9 716||10 437||11 748||12 545||12 645||11 581||10 456||9 168||9 614||9 588||9 921||10 271|
Examples of markets which became increasingly inaccessible in the later
part of 1997 due to transport difficulties include Tabora, Dodoma, Singida,
Shinyanga, Musoma and Mwanza and in these areas serious food shortages
developed, especially in rural areas. Although there are limited price
data available for the post-damage period, it was observed that the difference
in average prices between these and accessible markets was much greater
this year than the average for recent years. In the period October to December
maize prices in these markets were 77, 83 and 104 percent higher respectively
compared to between 14 percent and 16 percent on average during the same
period from 1993 to 1995. See Table 4 and Fig 2.
|Bukoba||14 500||13 500||14 750||14 000||14 083||16 250||17 300||21 500||19 100||20 643||21 250||24 000|
|Musoma||13 160||14 000||15 672||16 900||16 900||17 136||17 637||19 933||17 292||17 571||18 333||20 923|
|Mwanza||11 233||12 167||14 625||13 217||14 950||14 389||17 067||19 233||17 214||16 800||18 613||19 444|
|Shinyanga||10 900||11 917||13 436||13 000||12 800||14 145||15 550||17 146||15 182||14 692||15 215||20 423|
|Tabora||8 817||8 750||12 150||13 790||11 430||11 980||13 563||16 880||16 878||15 043||17 383||20 100|
|Average||11 722||12 067||14 127||14 181||14 033||14 780||16 223||18 938||17 133||16 950||18 159||20 978|
In view of the limitation in ascertaining and evaluating food production figures from last year, the national food supply balance sheet presented in this report is only formulated for the remaining part of the current 1997/98 marketing year from February to May 1998. In addition, as food balance sheets are normally formulated for entire marketing years, June-May in the case of Tanzania, the sheet presented can only be partially indicative.
The balance sheet is based on the following assumptions and estimates:
In accordance with recent FAO data on per caput cereal consumption in
Tanzania, including the cereal equivalent of pulses, cassava, banana and
potato, the overall consumption requirement per caput in cereal equivalent
is estimated at 192 kg/person. [ Consumption norms used by the Food Security
Department would give per caput consumption requirements of 205 kgs.]
The national food balance sheet for February to May 1998 is shown in
|Total Cereal Equivalent|
|Domestic Availability||1 931|
|Stocks as of 1 February||350|
|1998 Vuli Production||1 581|
|Food 1/||1 934|
|Other seed feed waste||222|
|Stocks as of 31 May||25|
|Import requirements (Cereal equivalent)||250|
|Anticipated commercial imports 2/||218|
|Food aid (in the pipeline)||32|
However, as the situation changes, food relief allocations have been revised to stop distribution in areas with good production forecasts and to increase the allocation in areas where household food security has deteriorated further. Accordingly, relief food aid has been increased in Rufiji, Magu, Kwimba to take care of additional beneficiaries. On the other hand, allocations have been reduced in Lindi, Mtwara, Musoma and Bunda where the food supply situation is reported to be improving with the harvest of the Vuli crops. Generally the food aid allocation has thus been revised downwards to a total 46 952 tons of which 11 591 tons have already been delivered.
For the current (1997/98) marketing year no additional emergency food
aid is envisaged.
Project Food Aid is envisaged in 1998 within the framework of Two Quick Action Projects. A Food For Work project involving a total of 4 508 tons is due to begin in April when emergency food aid is expected to be phased out. The FFW project which will be self-targeting is planned for areas having food shortages due to drought and the recent floods.
The project will provide needed food items in chronic food deficit areas while at the same time contributing to rural infrastructural rehabilitation and the promotion of increased agricultural activities.
The second Quick Action Project currently being formulated at the country office is planned to provide food assistance to primary schools in food deficit areas affected by drought and floods. The project is aimed at providing food aid as nutritional support to primary pupils between the ages of 7 to 13 years and also as an incentive to boost enrolment and school attendance especially for girls as a support to the GOT Universal Basic Education Programme. The Primary School Feeding project which will provide pre-cooked food as a mid-day meal to pupils attending school is expected to involve a total 2 500 tons of food commodities for 1998.
Both projects are seen as a transition from emergency through rehabilitation
to development programmes. They will contribute to current food aid needs
in vulnerable areas and contribute to sustainable improvement of longer-term
food security in Tanzania.
A number of donor countries provide Tanzania with food aid each year,
which is sold and the proceeds used as budgetary support especially in
agricultural development. Normally, the Japanese Government provides 15
000 tons of rice a year for this purpose.
The intensive rainfall since November 1997 has resulted in large scale
destruction of both the rail and road networks, mainly in the Central and
Northern regions. As a consequence, the traffic of commercial and food
aid cargo has been at a standstill since mid-December 1997. The disrupted
transport network can be divided into three tiers, namely:
(ii) Secondary and primary road network affecting traffic between the surplus food producing areas and those facing shortages ("inter-regional traffic")
(iii) Main corridors emanating from Dar es Salaam to the North (Arusha), West and Northwest (Kigoma, Isaka/Mwanza) and Southwest (Iringa/Mbeya)
- Damage to the Road Network
The Ministry of Works (MOW) has completed an overall review of road interruptions in the 20 regions of Tanzania based on information received from the Regional Authorities. Most transport problem are considered as being fluid as problems and interruptions are evolving almost daily and priorities changing. The MOW concludes that the total cost of the urgent and essential repairs amounts to TSh 7 billion, equivalent to US$ 11.3 million. These initial works will only ensure "immediate passability", while requirements for "sustainable passability" will need to be determined by a more detailed study and extensive funding. No indicative figures for more permanent repair works are available.
For the intra-regional traffic the main road interruptions are between:
(ii) Iringa and Dodoma
(iii) Dodoma, Singida, Shinyanga and Mwanza
(iv) Mwanza and Mara
The road Dar es Salaam to Dodoma is opened for traffic but a stretch of 30 Km after Morogoro is badly damaged and requires urgent intervention to prevent further deterioration. Due to the disruption of the railway line, all the traffic moves on this road and no diversions are possible at this stage.
It is rather difficult to determine at this stage when resumption of intra-regional and inter-regional traffic will occur as well as when the main road corridors will allow the regular flow of traffic. However priorities have to be linked with the importance of traffic, e.g.:
(ii) national and transit commercial traffic that has serious implications in the economies of Tanzania and neighbouring countries
(iii) other traffic that will minimise disruption of economic activities in the affected regions
- Damage to the Rail Network (TRC)
TRC has also completed an assessment of the damage at various points along the rail network where the track has been washed away. The extent of the damage is far greater than that to roads, though limited to two areas on the Central line between Dar es Salaam and Tabora and another two areas on the Link line to Tanga. With the disruption of the railway line, 60 percent of TRCís rolling stock is "trapped" on the Dar es Salaam side of the line.
On the Central line, 31 Km of the railway between Kilosa and Kidete require major repair works (bridges are broken and embankments have been washed away) and the water levels are still very high. After Dodoma, 16 Km of the railway line are damaged but TRC has been able to provisional repair it thus ensuring "immediate passability" at reduced speed.
The overall cost estimate for the repairs is TSh 11.1 billion (US$ 18
million) of which TSh 4.6 billion (US$ 7.5 million) is required to complete
the temporary works and the remaining TSh 6.5 billion (US$ 10.5 million)
for the permanent repairs. The estimated completion time for the temporary
works that will ensure "immediate passability" is not less than 4-6 months.
- Inter and Intra Regional Networks: Alternatives and Costs
As mentioned above, the district and rural roads and tracks that serve villages and are used for local trade and to evacuate local surplus production became impassable in several regions. In general there are no alternatives for these roads than the use of different means of locomotion, i.e. tractor, animal traction or even by foot in the most extreme cases.
As regards the interrupted inter-regional roads, the options are usually the utilisation of much longer routes. This is the case for instance of the link between Dar es Salaam/Dodoma and Shinyanga/Mwanza where the alternative is to go via Arusha and Kenya, or between Iringa and Dodoma where the alternative is to go via Morogoro.
In addition to the higher costs due to longer distances, transporters have recently revised road transport rates to take into consideration the deterioration of the roads, constraints and diversions, having increased them by more than 20 percent in some cases.
Overall, therefore, the main observations regarding internal transport routes in Tanzania in the aftermath of the floods are;
(ii) As regards the intra-regional road network, alternative routes maybe difficult but are not impossible. For instance, the route from Sumbawanga, Rukwa to Tabora can be made by using the rail branch line from Mpanda, and all the traffic from Dodoma to Shinyanga/Mwanza can use the main TRC line. This however requires good co-ordination due to the already reduced capacity of the railways.
(iii) In respect of the inter-regional rural road and tracks network the only alternative for rapid access is by air, in case of severe cases of distress
(iv) Urgent co-ordination of Government efforts and donorsí response is essential to establish adequate priorities to the required repair works and to secure funds in the shortest possible time.
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