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Agriculture in Tanganyika

Nature volume 139, page 362 (27 February 1937) | Download Citation



THE annual report of the Department of Agriculture in Tanganyika for 1935 has now been published (Dar-es-Salaam: Government Printer, 1936). From the economic point of view, the past five years have been the most critical in the history of the Territory, and 1935 can be regarded as the culminating point of the effort to place it in a position of economic security. The volume of total exports attained has never before been approached, in spite of the fact that record figures for most crops had been reported during the four previous years. In the year under review, records for the export of the three premier industries, sisal, cotton and coffee, have been achieved, while high figures are again reported for ground-nuts, bees-wax and sesame. Copra alone has yielded disappointing results. The soundness of the policy of increasing production in a territory which has not reached the limits of development seems to have been vindicated, as the standard of living and purchasing capacity of the native peoples have been markedly improved, and also a rise in the value of exportable commodities obtained. As regards non-native agriculture, the excellent price secured for sisal-hemp stimulated the rejuvenation of estates, re-equipment of factories and a general re-organization of the industry. Much too large a proportion of planters, however, still rely on a one-crop policy, and the adoption of a more diversified farming is advocated. Native development is making sound progress, successful concentration of population now being possible in districts which quite recently were poverty-stricken tsetse areas. Questions of irrigation and natural water supplies play a vital part in African life, and important developments are already in hand following the recommendations of the special inquiries completed during the year under review.

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