Agricultural Policy Studies

Providing sound research to address the most pressing agricultural policy issues facing Tanzania
Hardly a year after iAGRI project inception, iAGRI and SERA jointly agreed to sponsor an agricultural policy seminar series in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Sokoine University as part of their efforts to support agricultural policy research. Funding was originally provided by iAGRI. The objectives of the agricultural policy seminar series were to stimulate interest in and efforts on agricultural policy research, encourage informed debate on policy issues, and ultimately to improve agricultural policies in Tanzania.

Research supported under the policy seminar series had to be broadly focused on issues related to the goals of Feed the Future of food security and nutrition. However, because of the interrelated nature of agriculture and agricultural policies, many topics of research could be appropriate to support achieving these goals. For example, research on rural poverty, the impacts of policies on smallholders or nutrition, as well as research on trade policy, and policies that affect production and productivity would all be appropriate areas to investigate under the agricultural policy seminar series.


The seminar series would draw participants from the whole university, agricultural-line ministries and other research institutions in the country. This provided opportunity for junior agricultural policy researchers to team-up with experienced academic members of staff at SUA, and where possible with those from FtF participating universities in the USA, and apply for research grants to undertake short-term policy research that will thereafter be presented in scheduled seminars at DAEA-SUA. Good quality research reports will be further supported to enable them to be published in local and international journals.



The objectives of the seminar series are to:

  1. Stimulate interest in agricultural policy research among the academic staff at SUA as well as in the key agriculture-line ministries and research institutions.
  2. Support agricultural policy reforms and develop local capacity for policy research in Tanzania.
  3. Encourage informed debate on key agricultural policy areas by involving key policy stakeholders with a view to informing the policy processes with good quality science–based knowledge.

Round I

The first round of agricultural policy seminar series attracted four teams of researchers as follows:

1Adam Akyoo and Zena Mpenda Policy Imperatives for Control of Market Exchange failure in the Cashew Industry of Tanzania
2Abubakar Malinza, Emmanuel ChingonikayaInstitutional Analysis of Agricultural Input Service Delivery in Tanzania. The Case of the National Agricultural Input Voucher System
3Msuya; J. Kinabo; P. Mamiro; A. Mwanri; K. Kulwa and N. BundalaPolicy Assessment of the 1000-Days Focus Health Strategy for Improving Child Nutrition in Tanzania
4J. K. Urassa, A. Sikira and B. KazuzuruSmallholders’ commercialization of maize production and food security: A case study of Rukwa Region

These teams started their research in June 2013 and completed the draft in December2013. One of the studies has been developed into a policy brief.

There was a pause for the whole of 2014 and now, policy studies are in the offing again. However, this time around, the studies will concentrate on access to land—targeting the demand for land ranging from 20-100 ha. Recent evidence suggests that the transfer of land to medium and large-scale domestic investors is one of the major new trends affecting African agri-food systems (Jayne et al 2014.

The study will be implemented by MSU, Sokoine University of Agriculture, and the Ministry of Agriculture in Tanzania. The study will start in June/July 2015, and will be jointly funded partly by SERA. In a large part, most of the funding will come from several projects funded through Michigan State University.

The studies on land access will stretch for about two years from July 2015.


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