Status and Trends of Technological Changes Among Small-Scale Farmers in Tanzania

Conference paper


The purpose of this paper is to highlight technological changes in agriculture among small-scale farmers in Tanzania and how these changes have contributed towards poverty reduction and promotion of sustainable agriculture. Available evidence suggesting that most of the rural areas are faced with low productivity in agriculture and severe land degradation in the form of soil erosion and nutrient depletion, while food crop yields of less than a metric ton per hectare are common and deforestation and overgrazing are widespread. The paper discusses issues relating to status and trends affecting small-scale farmers in Tanzania including their use of technologies, land and gender, labor, income and resource allocation. The main objective of this paper is to demonstrate the current status and trends within agricultural production for small-scale farmers in Tanzania. While the specific objective is to illustrate how farmers use improved inputs efficiently in the current farming systems, a second objective is to identify sustainable requirements for more diversified systems of farming that include commodities which can be produced with more ecologically benign systems. Diversified farming systems traditionally have utilized crop rotations to control pest build up, conservation of soil (through agricultural conservation techniques) and maintenance of productivity. In addition, the paper attempts to determine the benefits of integrated cropping and livestock systems that have been used to reduce farm operational costs, recycle waste, and stabilize the incomes of the rural farmers. Finally, the paper also discusses the effects of technological changes on labor, production, income, and time allocation of members within a household to farm activities. To address these objectives, literature from past studies on the issues concerning technological changes were sought out and discussed. Results indicate that investment in agricultural technology is crucial in order to meet the growing demand for food at low cost. Current evidence provides support the view that such investment is, indeed, profitable and does contribute to improved productivity. However, there is still lack of empirical evidence derived from rigorously measuring the impact of technological change on household welfare, based on consumption and other factors. The few studies that are available show that technological change improves income and food consumption while increasing burden in terms of women’s work hours in the field. The first part of the paper is an overview and introduction to the country, its location, typology, economy, and a general background. The second part describes agricultural status and trends. The final section provides a conclusion and defines the way forward towards poverty reduction.


Agricultural technologies Farm labor Gender-roles Irrigation Poverty Resource allocation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ministry of Agriculture Food Security and CooperativesPretoriaTanzania

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