The European Journal of Development Research

, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 631–649 | Cite as

Urban Agriculture and Dietary Diversity: Empirical Evidence from Tanzania

  • Luca Tasciotti
  • Natascha Wagner
Original Article


The recent increases in food prices have been dramatic. In Tanzania, average prices for key food items climbed at least 50 per cent between 2007 and 2009; rising prices had a significant effect on Tanzania’s growing group of urban poor as their food budget share amounts to 67 per cent. This article studies the effects of practicing agriculture in urban Tanzania on indicators of dietary diversity, quantifying the share of urban dwellers engaged in urban agriculture and assessing the importance of urban agriculture in ensuring food diversity. Results suggest that households engaged in urban agriculture have a more diversified diet: they increase the variety of (i) meat, fish and eggs by 10 per cent, (ii) dairy products by at least 16 per cent and (iii) fruits and vegetables by up to 9 per cent. The urban poor is the group that profits most from the dietary diversification relative to richer households.


urban agriculture dietary diversity Tanzania agricultural policy 


Les hausses récentes des prix des aliments ont étés dramatiques. En Tanzanie, les prix moyens des aliments de base ont monté au moins du 50% entre 2007 et 2009. La hausse des prix a eu un effet significatif sur le nombre montant des pauvres urbains, puisque leur dépense sur les aliments est 67% de leur budget. Ici on étude l’effet que l’agriculture dans les zones urbaines de Tanzanie a sur les indicateurs de diversité diététique; on quantifie la proportion d’habitants urbaines qui pratiquent de l’agriculture urbaine, et on évalue l’importance de l’agriculture urbaine dans la provision d’une alimentation variée. Les résultats indiquent que les ménages qui pratiquent de l’agriculture urbaine ont une diète plus variée: ils augmentent la variété de (1) la viande, les poissons, et les œufs consumées de 10%, (2) des produits laitiers de 16%, et (3) des fruits et légumes de 9%. Les pauvres urbains sont le groupe qui profite le plus de la diversification de leur diète, compares a d’autres ménages plus aisés.



We received valuable comments from John Hoddinott during the 2014 CSAE meeting, three anonymous referees and the Editor-in-Chief Dr Henson. All remaining errors of omission or commission are our own.


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Copyright information

© European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luca Tasciotti
    • 1
  • Natascha Wagner
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University RotterdamThe HagueThe Netherlands

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