Tracking Promises: Tanzania
March 30, 2016
When the United States officially launched the global hunger and food security initiative called Feed the Future in May 2010, it was unclear whether the surge of development assistance and renewed commitment to address hunger and poverty would make a profound difference in selected developing countries. As one of 19 focus countries under the initiative, Tanzania saw a dramatic rise in U.S. funding for agriculture and nutrition, from $15 million in 2010 to an average of $62 million per year from 2011 to 2015 in USAID food security and agriculture funding. In fact, Tanzania has received more Feed the Future funding than any other focus country in the world with a total of $327 million from FY 2010 to FY 2015.
Equipped with valuable natural resources and a growing economy, Tanzania holds significant potential for agricultural development. The country must overcome several barriers, including weak infrastructure, protectionist policies, poor extension services, and lack of access to quality inputs, in order to unlock this potential.
So what has Tanzania gained from the increased investment of U.S. tax dollars to address hunger and poverty? Is it business as usual or is it development done differently? The Global Food Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) traveled to Tanzania in August 2015 to evaluate and document the efficiency, effectiveness, and sustainability of the Feed the Future initiative in Tanzania.
Overall, we found that Feed the Future has made a positive impact, particularly among smallholder farmers. Rice production has doubled, the horticulture industry has been significantly supported, and rural communities are eating more diverse, healthy diets. Despite constraints to growth, such as a poor policies, weak infrastructure, and slow progress within SAGCOT, the United States’ investment and development leadership needs to be sustained and strengthened for there to be a meaningful reduction in Tanzania’s food insecurity.