The Developmental State and Food Sovereignty in Tanzania

01 Enero 2013
Paper

Tanzania has been experiencing different periods of food shortages mainly because of insufficient food production. While the country has an undisputable potential for food production, the state and its development partners such the World Bank, believe that the unsustainable peasant food production is the main cause of the food crisis.

Tanzania has been experiencing different periods of food shortages mainly because of insufficient food production. While the country has an undisputable potential for food production, the state and its development partners such the World Bank, believe that the unsustainable peasant food production is the main cause of the food crisis. As a panacea to the food crisis, a call for de-peasantization in favor of commercial large scale farming is advocated. This paper is against de-peasantization, in light of the fact that for a country that is largely agrarian, achieving food self-sufficiency should began with the peasants. The principles of food sovereignty must be adopted and the orientation of the state must be developmental. The state must play the ‘activist’ role in investing heavily in agricultural related projects as well as a ‘de-activist’ role by reducing the budget of sectors that do not add direct value to the national project.

Richard Mbunda is a lecturer and PhD student, Department of Political Science and Public Administration, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Richard Mbunda specializes in International Politics particularly International Political Economy. His recent work investigated the Kilimo Kwanza initiative as an agricultural transformation framework to find out whether it is an opportunity or a curse to small-scale producers, and its implication to food and rural livelihood. The study was funded by the Land Rights and Resources Institute (Haki Ardhi) in 2011. His PhD study is on the politics of food, where he is focusing on peasant agriculture and the quest for food sovereignty in Tanzania.

Food Sovereignty: a critical dialogue, 14 - 15 September, New Haven.