Export Ban Stunts Rural Farmers’ Reach in Tanzania

Export Ban Stunts Rural Farmers’ Reach in Tanzania

From The Citizen

An ad hoc ban on the export of staple food crops in the country is one of the major drawbacks in the fight against poverty in rural communities, whose livelihoods depend on agriculture. The ban does not only affect the rural poor, but also hikes prices, which in the end have been demotivating farmers, leading to low production and productivity.

According to a study on food security, which was commissioned by USAID Feed the Future SERA Policy Project with support from the Nafaka Staple Value Chain Project and USDA, banning cross-border maize exports lowers the national food price index by 0.6–2.4 per cent compared to free export.

In recent years, Tanzania has periodically banned the export of staple crops (mainly maize) to ensure food security and protect its citizens from international food price hikes. Although this seems to be a common response to domestic production shortfalls or to high prices in international or neighboring countries’ markets, export ban does not only reduce producer prices locally, but also may cause significant market uncertainty for farmers and the private sector, according to the study.

Read more at citizen.co.tz