Tanzania has a unique opportunity to become a major exporter of food crops, especially maize and rice, to the eastern Africa region. It has fertile and abundant crop land to expand production, a transport advantage over countries to the south, and the region has growing import demand. This export opportunity has been hampered in the past by the periodic use of export bans to address food security concerns. However, new research done under the SERA Project of the USAID Feed the Future Initiative has shown that the export bans are not effective at ensuring food security, controlling food prices, or preventing exports. It is now time to re-think the food crops export ban as a way of dealing with food security concerns and to focus on expanding exports to raise incomes of farmers. New programs will also be needed to deal with food security.
April 30, 2018