Africa: Tanzania Set to Be Africa’s Rice Hub


TANZANIA is racing to be East Africa’s rice hub by meeting in totality the regional need for the food crop. Tanzania is currently the 4th largest producer of rice in Africa and the second-largest in Eastern and Southern Africa.

It has put in place adequate plans and measures to increase rice production annually to reach a tipping point in 2030, with the ability to feed the region and beyond.

The Director of Mechanisation and Irrigation Division in the Ministry of Agriculture, Anna Mwangamilo said Tanzania adopted a transformative technology-dependent agricultural system model for rice production, mass adoption of improved seeds use and modern irrigation.

“In 2021, the rice produced increased to over three million metric tonnes,” said Ms Mwangamilo.

The implementation of the 2019-2030 National Rice Development Strategy Phase II (NRDS-II) would propel Tanzania to be the regional hub for rice and associated products on or before the close of the decade, she said.

NRDS II seeks to increase production to 8.8 million tonnes by 2030. On top of that the provision of substantial market opportunities for smallholder farmers in the last three years, has led to assured national self-sufficiency and a sizable surplus for export, making rice one of the most significant cash crops in Tanzania.

Development partners, including Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and others, have also played a role in catalysing businessdriven increased productivity. She said AGRA and USAID’s supported African Rice Initiative in East Africa (CARI-EA) has set a good precedent for improving the rice value chain and making it more profitable for farmers and other players.