An economic analysis of demand for fish in Tanzania: the case of Dar es Salaam and Mbeya

No Thumbnail Available
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Dar es Salaam
The objective of this study is to analyse the factors which inf1uence demand for fish in Tanzania, the case of Dar es Salaam and Mbeya. An econometric study of cross-section data from Mbeya was made at household level while the analysis of time series data from Dar es Salaam was made at aggregate level. The double logarithmic model was finally chosen to examine the influence of factors which affect demand for fish. In case of Mbeya the factors which were examined were monthly total expenditure, household size and dummy, variable for taste. For Dar es Salaam the influence of three factors; price of fish, per capital GDP and time trend variable a "proxy" for taste/preferences was examined. From the empirical findings, fish consumption in Mbeya was found to be influenced by total expenditure, household size and taste. The findings of this study have revealed that all explanatory variables i.e. total expenditure a "proxy" for income, household size and tastes are significant at 1east at 5 per cent 1evel . The estimated total expenditure elasticity was found to be very low for an upcountry town like Mbeya. However, this suggests that urban wage earners have lower expenditure elasticity far food items like fish than rural households with lower income. The estimated household elasticity suggests that there is high degree of substitution of cheaper protein food for more expensive protein food as household size increases. Larger households tend to consume cheaper protein food like beans and less expensive protein food like fish. Empirical findings further revealed that demand for Tanzania Fishing Corporation (TAFICO) fish in bar es Salaam was influenced by own price and time trend a "proxy" far tastes/preferences. These factors were found to be significant at 1 per cent level. Aggregate income elasticity of demand was found to be negative, this suggests that the sample of essentially frozen TAFICO fish used in our time series study represents poor (inferior) fish which as income increases consumption of the same decreases. This argument was also supported by interview responses from TAFICO workers. However, per capita GDP a "proxy" for income was found to be insignificant factor in influencing demand for fish. From the study it is suggested that policy makers and planners should pay attention to the factors which influence demand for fish so as to avoid demand constraints which may impede fish production and fisheries development. In order to increase fish production there is a need to alleviate demand constraints otherwise the fisheries sector will produce fish that the consumers cannot afford thus the sector will suffer because of lack of demand for its products. The purpose of fish production is that fish will be eventually consumed and so any increase in fish production should be followed with increase in demand through appropriate income and price policies such as income redistribution and consumer subsidies.
Available in print form
Fish trade, Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, Mbeya
Mwakosya, I. D. A ( 1992) An economic analysis of demand for fish in Tanzania: the case of Dar es Salaam and Mbeya, Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at ( )