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Marketing Reform? The Rise and Fall of Agricultural Liberalisation in Tanzania

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This article argues that the liberalisation of Tanzanian export agriculture from the early 1990s to the present has failed to take place to the extent claimed by the Tanzanian government and donor agencies. While internal food markets have largely been liberalised, donor-inspired attempts to liberalise export crop markets have been seriously undermined by the political-bureaucratic class. As in other countries undergoing adjustment under World Bank/IMF programmes, a combination of local vested interests and concerns with the ‘rigged rules and double standards' 1 of global commodity markets has led to a systematic but under-reported backlash against liberalisation. Tanzania's current status as a star HIPC/PRSP performer is belied by a growing rejection, whether principled or opportunistic, of the liberalisation project.
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Keywords: Agriculture; Tanzania; liberalisation; marketing

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Co-ordinator, Tanzania Agriculture Situation Analysis (TASA), a research programme of the Tanzania Development Research Group (TADREG).

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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