Tanzania Identifies Agriculture as an Area of Focus for its Economy While World Bank Suggests Otherwise.

3rd July 2014 The Tanzanian government has identified agriculture as one of its main areas of focus for its economy this year, stepping away from traditionally urban based sectors such as communication, construction and retail.

This sounds good so far, but the World Bank is issuing a note of caution; According to the World Bank’s Tanzania Economic Update, released in December 2013, agriculture is not enough to end poverty. The report mentions global experiences that show that even when agricultural productivity increases, the poor people still don’t see much improvement in their lives.

One strategy the World Bank is encouraging is the use of conditional cash transfer programs; a program where small amounts of money are given to the extremely poor every month, to help to meet basic needs. Tanzania has run a pilot of the program which it called the Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF) and the program is showing good results in addressing the needs of the poorest households in the country.

The World Bank is advocating that in addition to whatever other sectors Tanzania would like to develop, the country must expand these programs, called safety nets, to ensure that the country’s most vulnerable people are protected.

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