The recent economic growth shown in Tanzania has not done nearly as much as it should to reduce poverty and hunger or improve health and education. Agriculture is one of the leading sectors in Tanzania’s economy, involving approximately 80% of Tanzanians. It contributes substantially to the GDP, accounts for about one fifth of the foreign earnings and supports the livelihoods of more than two thirds of the population. It accounts for half of the national income and three quarters of the merchandise exports in the country. An average small farm uses traditional cultivation methods and cultivates between 0.9 hectares and 3.0 hectares. Agriculture in Tanzania is threatened by poor seeds and growing conditions, and lack of technology and market opportunities. To accelerate Tanzania’s development it is necessary to focus on programs in agriculture and fisheries, which together provide livelihoods for three quarters of all Tanzanians.
To address this situation, Mater Dei Africa (MDA) works with communities to identify areas to improve agricultural production and food security, and find possible solutions. MDA has already initiated several programs, including:
A note on fish ponds:
Fish pond projects benefit communities in the following ways:
- Reduce the incidents of malnutrition, which is particularly debilitating to growing children.
- Provide a sustainable means of income by growing and selling fish.
- Provide a model to be replicated by other villagers along the Pangani river basin.
- Provide small fish (seeds) to other villages
- Act as a center of learning for those who wish to raise fish.
- Improve child nutrition through the supply of protein and minerals
- Improve the health of women.
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