Policy & legal framework related to food system in Tanzania

Phased Out

Project Type:

  • Client Name: TABIO


Agriculture is the mainstay of the Tanzania’s economy as it is the main source of food, employment, raw materials for industries, and it is a source of foreign exchange earnings. Existing agriculture and food systems are central to sustaining poor people’s livelihoods and are technically capable of producing adequate food for all in Tanzania and the world at large.

TABIO with support from the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) carried out a study on “Policy and legal framework related to food system in Tanzania”. Generally, the study aimed at exploring the current governance structures and policy frameworks, their fitness for purpose, the information sources and influences on which food systems are based on. Specifically the study intended to identify the current legal and policy frameworks related to the food systems; to analyse the extent to which the identified legal and policy framework addresses issues of human rights, gender and marginalized people; to look at the coherence of the identified legal and policy framework taking into consideration on how they complement or conflict with each other; to look if the identified legal and policy frameworks are people centered; to explore potential for synergies and to explore to what extent policies related to food systems ensure resilience and is able to adapt to socio-economic and ecological shocks that might affect it.

Carrying out the study involved use of the following methods: Desk review of policy and legal documents relevant to agriculture and food systems and key informant interviews with government officials, youth, farmers groups, women and consumers. Also, were dialogue meetings to explore the concept of food systems and for sharing the draft findings and recommendations and gather inputs from the participants.

The study found that there is no single policy and legal framework that address all issues related to food system in Tanzania. A number of polices have provision which on one hand contribute to the creation of conducive environment for a functional food system. Also, are policy statements that provide coherence and synergy among them towards food system. Some policies are gender sensitive and have provisions that recognize human rights and are people centered. Again, some polices have provisions on climate change which provide resilience and ability to adapt to socio-economic and ecological shocks. The study also found that there are gaps in a number of polices and laws that that need to be addressed.

The country food policy dialogues were carried out with a focus on a number of issues including the good food system and the food production and its support to a good food system. There were a number of main findings and also outcome that looked into areas of convergence and divergence. The dialogue came with a number of lessons that included policy that are in silos are a reason behind for food system failure and achieving a good food system requires creating an enabling environment that include policy and legal framework. The dialogues meeting also came up with key findings including failure of our food production system to support good food system due to high promotion of conventional approaches in agriculture.

The country food policy recommended that: a standalone policy on food system is needed for Tanzania. Also, the government need to resolve policy distortions and incoherence. More awareness on food system need to be created to differentiate food and agriculture system. Again, there is need for multistakeholder collaboration and policy coordination and advocate for related policy and legal framework that promote shifting of agriculture priorities. Last but not list, realization of human rights for smallholder farmers and people working in rural areas, improve women’s de facto land rights and negotiating for community driven solution to accommodate pastoralists are of paramount importance in achieving  good food system for Tanzania.