The agrarian question revisited: FDI growth in agriculture and food security in Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
Food crisis occurrence has always caused rightful worry and panic worldwide. The latest food crisis occurred in 2008 and has once again brought food security into the forefront of development debates. In Tanzania, after numerous policies and development strategies, it has now dawned to Government, NGO’s and scholars that to address the problem of food insecurity it is necessary to increase overall productivity and growth in the agriculture sector. However differences on options arise as to whom and what is to be the agency of transformation. On one side of the debate there are those pushing for the ‘transformation method’ which involves large-scale commercial mechanized farming. Their argument is that Tanzania has limited financial capabilities, thus foreign direct investment will play a central role. On the other side are those advocating for the improvement method which involves improvement of agricultural productivity within the existing framework of small-scale peasant farming. They are suspicious of FDI in agriculture (FDI-A) as a thrust by the North to re-open the lands of the global South. This paper attempts to show both accounts of the debate. It also seeks to understand why there is a continued call for FDI-A when for more than two decades now the government has been encouraging and promoting foreign direct investment in the agricultural sector. In this paper I found out that there is an inverse relation between FDI-A flow and food security, in which FDI-A is resulting in decreased food availability and increased agricultural imports due to the lack of food production.I conclude that there is no need to call for more FDI-A but rather more investment is needed to help eliminate the challenges small-scale farmers are facing so as to improve the existing mode of farming.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF HD2128.5.M854)
Agriculture, Economic aspects, Investments, Foreign, Food Security
Mwijarubi, L.M. (2015) The agrarian question revisited: FDI growth in agriculture and food security in Tanzania, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam