, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 311-327

Nutritional implications of staple food crop successions in Usambara, Tanzania

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Archival and ethnographic research carried out in northeastern Tanzania provides evidence of significant changes in production and consumption of staple food crops between 1850 and the present. The banana, which provided the bulk of calories and other nutrients in precolonial times, has been successively replaced by Irish potatoes, maize, and cassava in different localities. The reasons for the adoption of each of these introduced crops are explored, and their implications for human nutrition in the area are discussed.