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Value chain distortions in Tanzania

Since the 1990s, the Tanzanian government has striven to transform the country into a semi-industrialized economy supported by productive commercial agriculture. To accomplish this goal, policymakers pursued a policy of trade liberalization and reduced government intervention, including the agricultural sector. As a result, Tanzania has experienced a moderately high agricultural sector growth rate of 4.1 percent per year over the last two decades; this rate is comparable with neighboring countries including Kenya (4 percent growth per year) and Uganda (3.2 percent).

Cooperation in agricultural modernization

This piece originally appeared on the blog.

Extension and Productivity in Malawi

This blog was originally published by IFPRI

By Catherine Ragasa and John Mazunda (IFPRI)

Latest GIEWS Alerts

Latest FAO GIEWS Country Briefs and Special Alerts

FAO’s Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS) has released several new country briefs and special reports for Africa south of the Sahara.

Ethiopian economy grows, diets still poor

A new Ethiopia has emerged in recent years. A potent combination of increased agricultural productivity, urbanization, and economic growth has improved the standard of living for many Ethiopians. As a result, diets are changing as well, but not entirely in positive ways. Ethiopians are eating more calories on average and more diverse foods, but are still far short of recommended levels of dietary diversity, even as they may soon face overnutrition problems like overweight and obesity.

Continuing Challenge of Child Malnutrition

Precision geospatial analysis highlights development gaps – now we need precision solutions

This piece originally appeared on By Purnima Menon

Latest GIEWS Country Briefs

The FAO Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS) has released several new country briefs and updates for Africa south of the Sahara.

Better Health for Better Productivity

Burkina Faso faces persistent high morbidity rates due to malaria, respiratory infections, malnutrition, diarrheic diseases, and HIV/AIDS, according to the country’s Ministry of Health. These health burdens can negatively impact the agricultural labor productivity of rural households by reducing both available labor and farming know-how.

Using Nutrition Incentives to Enhance Business

Contract farming arrangements are becoming increasingly popular in developing countries. These arrangements, in which farmers agree to produce a given amount of a product and buyers agree to buy that amount, can help improve smallholders’ access to markets and credit opportunities. However, in reality, contract farming arrangements can be plagued with problems – farmers may renege on the agreement if they believe they can get a higher price from a different buyer or market, and buyers may renege because they distrust the quality of the product or the reliability of the farmer.

Encouraging Inclusive Growth

Africa saw strong economic growth between 2001 and 2010, averaging 5.3 percent, but that growth has often not reached poor rural populations. As the sector that supports the livelihoods of 90 percent of Africa’s population and employs 70 percent of the region’s poorest communities, agriculture stands to play an enormous role in increasing sustainable, inclusive economic growth on the continent.


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