Assessment of the fertilizer market and bulk procurement system in the United Republic of Tanzania

The United Republic of Tanzania has a predominantly agricultural economy, with agriculture accounting for more than two-thirds of employment in rural areas and representing 30 percent of GDP. Yet, by global standards and even by the standards of Developing Countries, crop yields in the county are low. Using improved seeds and mineral fertilizers is therefore critical to promoting growth in crop productivity, food production and sustaining the natural resource base, especially among the smallholder farmers who subsist on nutrient-poor soils. 



In 2016, The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries (MALF) of the United Republic of Tanzania requested an assessment of the potential costs and benefits of a proposed Bulk Procurement System (BPS) for fertilizer imports that would consolidate international procurement to save costs, ultimately improving the affordability for farmers. This assessment was jointly carried out and submitted to MALF in 2017 by FAO and the International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC), and presents an analysis of the fertilizer market, the proposed BPS policy, and interviews with over one hundred public, private, and civil society stakeholders. The findings indicate that the proposed system would likely not reduce prices for farmers and could negatively affect availability and market competition – causing prices to increase in the long term. The authors therefore recommend against its implementation pending further consultations, or to pilot the system with careful review and evaluation. The report also presents alternative policy options for the short and medium term to improve overall efficiency in the value chain and ultimately make fertilizer more affordable for Tanzanian smallholder farmers.

Type: Reports
Date: Nov 2020
Country: Tanzania
 - East Africa

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