Agriculture: determinants of farm productivity, barriers to moving to commercial agriculture
How have recent government and private interventions (Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank, Tanzania Cooperative Bank, SACCOS, microfinance) helped to improve the market for smallholder credit performed in terms of participation scale, credit disbursement, and borrowing costs? There is general consensus in the literature that farmers and nascent businesses need mechanisms to insure consumption smoothing when faced with large frontloaded investment. Have initiatives in the banking sector translated into improved technology take-up and input investment, and if not, what other policy interventions are required to foster or could supplement production and agro-processing? Secondly, Tanzania’s administration has committed itself to controlling spending and improving budgetary self-reliance. What are the estimated costs and benefits from continuing subsidy programmes versus initiatives targeting improving market efficiencies, price discovery, and bargaining power for smallholders? How have new commodity exchange initiatives, mobile phone trading, and other online trading platforms translated into growth opportunities for subsistence farmers, if at all?