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    Tanzania is an East African country situated on the Indian Ocean just south of the Equator. It borders eight other nations: Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique. The country extends about 1,040 km from north to south and 1,080 km from east to west comprising a territory of 945,100 km2. Elevation and distance from the sea control the climate of Tanzania. Along the coastal belt, warm and tropical weather conditions prevail. While the inland plateau is hot and dry, the semi temperate highlands in the southwest are better watered.

    Agricultural sector

    Tanzania's economy is heavily dependent on agriculture, which accounts for half of GDP, provides 85% of exports, and employs 90% of the work force. The country is one of the world's largest producers of sisal and cloves. Chief exported crops include cashews, tobacco, cotton, coffee, tea and wheat. However, the majority of agriculture is subsistence-oriented. Tanzania produces cattle meat, cassava, maize, milk, rice, plantains, sorghum and sweet potatoes for domestic consumption (FAO, 14.07.2006).

    Overview of organic farming

    The organic sector in Tanzania is still relatively underdeveloped. About 55,867 hectares of land are under organic cultivation, which accounts for 0.14 % of the total agricultural area. Approximately 30,000 Tanzanian farmers use organic production methods (IFOAM & FiBL 2006). These numbers include fully converted land as well as "in conversion" land area. Recent surveys show a clear upward trend in uncertified organic production (UNEP/UNCTAD 2006). Considering the increasing international demand, this indicates a high growth potential for the Tanzania organic sector, but at the same time accentuates the need for improvement in local certification capacities.

    Key organic products

    Certified organic produce from Tanzania includes cotton, coffee, black tea, cocoa, ginger, spices, essential oils, honey, and cashew nuts (IFOAM 2003). A number of other crops continue to be grown organically "by default" without being certified. Production occurs mainly through small-scale producer groups organised by commercial companies. Since no domestic market exists, the organic sector relies on exports to Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Japan, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Indonesia and the United States. Most of the products are sold in semi-processed or raw forms (UNEP/UNCTAD 2006).

    The network

    The Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement (TOAM) was established in May 2005. As an umbrella organization for various stakeholders' initiatives, it aims at providing leadership and coordination in developing and promoting the organic sector in Tanzania. Besides stakeholder mobilisation and lobbying, TOAM's activities include facilitation of research as well as extension work and training in organic cultivation methods (UNEP/UNCTAD 2006).

    The efforts of stakeholders groups also led to the formation of a local certification body (TanCert) in 2004. The main aim of this local facility is to reduce certification costs borne by farmers that have confronted relatively expensive foreign certification services so far.

    Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement (TOAM)
    Coordinatior: Jordan Gama
    Room No. 7, Old post office building, Sokoine Drive
    PO Box 105575
    Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
    Tel./Fax: (+255-22) 2124441
    Email: mwatimajuma@yahoo.com
    Website: http://www.kilimohai.org/ 

    Coordinator: Leonard Mtama
    Room No. 7, Old post office building, Sokoine Drive
    PO Box 70089
    Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
    Tel./Fax: +225-22-212 44 41
    E-mail: tancert@tancert.org
    Website: www.tancert.org 

    External Support

    The Tanzania organic agriculture sector has been receiving support from the following external organisations amongst others:

    Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI)
    Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
    Export Promotion of Organic Production in Africa (EPOPA)
    International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM)
    International Trade Centre (ITC)
    UNEP-UNCTAD Capacity Building Taskforce on Trade Environment and Development (CBTF) 


    • IFOAM & FiBL (2006): The World of Organic Agriculture. Statistics and Emerging Trends 2006. International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), Bonn & Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, Frick, pp. 27-35.
    • IFOAM (2003): Organic and Like-Minded Movements in Africa. International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), Bonn, pp.102-108.
    • FAO, 14.07.2006: Key Statistics of Food and Agriculture External Trade. Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Statistics Division. URL: www.fao.org/es/ess/toptrade/trade.asp?dir=exp&country=3&ryear=2004 and www.fao.org/es/ess/top/country.html?lang=en
    • UNEP/UNCTAD (2006): The Status of Organic Agriculture Production and Trading Opportunities in Tanzania. Project on Promoting Production and Trading Opportunities for Organic Agriculture in East Africa, Final Report.
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