“There isn’t any”: Tanzania’s land myth and the brave New Alliance - African Arguments
Stanley gestures around him at expanses of rich, fertile land. This has been cultivated by Tanzanians for generations, he explains, but much of it is now owned by large-scale commercial farms that use imported hybrid seeds and over-produce.
This is in eastern Tanzania, but a similar story is playing out in regions across the country where big agribusinesses have arrived on the scene. Many of their entrances to the country have been facilitated by an ambitious international initiative called the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. Launched a few years ago, this scheme brings together governments, NGOs and corporations and promises to lift 50 million Africans out of poverty by 2022.
So far, however, Stanley is not one of them. “We don’t have any water in the village now,” he says, looking across a new expansive commercial farm. “It’s all being used for tomato production. The price of tomatoes is very weak because there’s overproduction and we’ve not got enough land.”