Agriculture

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Agriculture is the main economic activity of Arusha region. It contributes more than 45 percent of regional GDP and also accounts for more than 75% of export earnings. Moreover, both agriculture and livestock sectors employ more than 65 percent of the rural population.


 

Arable land

 

Table 1 shows that out of the total regional land area of 34,526,000 hectares, arable land covers 487,795 hectares, or 1.4 percent of the total land area of the region. The remaining land area (34,038,205 hectares or 98.6percent) which is not suitable for agricultural production include national parks,game reserve areas and grazing land. Figure 3.1 shows that the 487,795 hectares of total arable land, is distributed as follows; Arumeru (32.7 percent), Karatu (21.0 percent), Monduli (16.8 percent), Longido (15.0 percent),Ngorongoro (13.1 percent) and Arusha (1.3 percent).

Table 1 also shows that Arusha district has the smallest land area of 93,000 hectares which constitutes 6.9 percent of its total land area. The proportion of arable in other districts is on the following; Arumeru (15.5 percent), Karatu (3.1 percent), Monduli (1.3 percent), Longido (0.9 percent) and Ngorongoro (0.5 percent)

Table 1 also reveals that out of 487,795 hectares of arable land that existed in Arusha during 2006/2007, only 233,236 hectares or 47.8 percent were under crop production. District –wise, Arusha district utilized 90.1 percent of its arable land for crop production in 2006/7 season, followed by Arumeru (65.6 percent), Ngorongoro (40.0 percent), Longido (39.9 percent), Karatu (38.0 percent) and Monduli (35.3 percent).

Percentage Share of Arable Land by District, Arusha Region, 2007

 

 


 

Food Crops

 

The major food crops grown in the region include maize, beans, paddy and sorghum. Maize crop is the most dominant crop in the region since it covers cumulative annual average of 87.3 percent of area used in food crop cultivated, followed by beans (19.6 percent) and sorghum (1.9 percent). According to the weather of the region, paddy being the least utilized smallest areas of cumulative annual average of 1.4.

 

 

Maize

 

Maize being the most dominant crop grown in Arusha region utilised 87.3 percent of the total cultivated area under main food crops in the region. At district level, Arumeru district with cumulative annual average of 80,904.1 hectares (58.7 percent) had the largest area under maize cultivation over the specified period. It is followed by Karatu (22.9 percent) and Moduli (8.3 percent). Due to its area, Arusha district had the smallest average area under maize cultivation which was 1,825.7 hectares or 1.3 percent.

 

Table 1: Distribution of Arable Land in t Arusha Region by District ,2006/07
District
Total Land Area (Ha)
Total Arable Land (Ha)
Percent of District Arable Land
Arable Land Under Crop Production
Percent of Arable Land Under Crop Production (Ha)
% of Arable Land as Total Arable Land
Arusha
93,000
6,400
6.9
5,769
90.1
1.3
Arumeru
2,896,000
159,700
5.5
104,733
65.6
32.7
Monduli
6,419,000
81,830
1.3
28,915
35.3
16.8
Karatu
3,300,000
102,573
3.1
38,945
38.0
21.0
Longido
7,782,000
73,164
0.9
29,223
39.9
15.0
Ngorongoro
14,036,000
64,128
0.5
25,651
40.0
13.1
Total
34,526,000
487,795
1.4
233,236
47.8
100.0

    

Beans

These are a continuation of the slopes of Mount Meru in Arumeru and Arusha districts with very high population density and the Oldean Mountain in Karatu district. This zone is known as the coffee and banana zone as it is characterised with coffee, bananas, flowers and dairy farming. The zone has high altitude ranging from 800 – 4,500 metres above sea level and has temperate temperatures and heavy rainfall (over 1,000mm) annually and occupies the largest part of the region, (3 districts).The coffee and banana zone as it is characterised by coffee, bananas, flowers and dairy farming


 

Cash Crops

 

Out of 487,795 hectares of the identified arable land in the region, only 32,026 hectares are used to grow cash crops. However, types of soil, topography and weather have caused the region to grow mainly coffee, wheat and barley. There other cash crops which have been introduced recently, but land used for these crops is still insignificant. These crops include flowers, vegetables and vinegar.

 Coffee

Looking the contribution of districts to the acreages under cash crops cultivation, Arumeru district was the main contibutor with 19,511 hectares or 83 percent of the area under coffee. The second district was Karatu contributes with 3,132.5 hectares while Monduli contributed only 0.6 percent of the total acreage under coffee. Longido and Ngorongoro districts were not involved in coffee cultivation.

Maize is the leading food crop produced in Arusha region

 

Wheat and Barley

 

Wheat and barley were the second and third major cash crops grown in Arusha region, with 27 percent of the arable land in the region were utilized for wheat and barley cultivation. At district level, Karatu district is the leading producer , in having 75 percent of total 8,663.4 hectares under wheat and barley crops. Other districts which utilized their arable lands to grow wheat and barley in those seven years were Arumeru (10.8 percent), Monduli (8.2 percent) and Longido (6.0 percent) of their arable land were utilized.

 

  


 

Investment Opportunities in agriculture sector

Potential areas for investment in Agriculture include:-

 

1. Vegetable production and export in Arumeru and Karatu districts

2. Bulb Onion production for export in Arumeru and Karatu districts

3. Floriculture (cut flowers and flower seeds production) in Arumeru, Monduli and Karatu districts,

4. Fruit production- bananas and avocados, and

5. Oil seeds production and processing (sunflower and starflower) in Arumeru, Monduli, Karatu and Longido.

 

Future prospects of agriculture will depend on further development of arable land. Out of the region’s total arable area of 487,795 hectares, 233,236 ha (48%) is under food and cash crops cultivation living 52% of the land for other land planning. To make a better use of unexploited arable land, recommended crops for investment are as follows:

 

 

District
Recommended Crops
Arusha Flowers, coffee and vegetables
Arumeru Maize, beans, coffee, flowers and barley
Monduli Wheat, barley, paddy, sunflower, maize, beans and coffee
Ngorongoro Barley, maize, beans, cassava and millets
Longido Maize, millet and flowers
 
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