Past, Present and Future Perspectives of Rice Production in Tanzania


Cultivated rice (Oryza sativa L. and Oryza. glaberrima) is one of the most
important food crops in the world. World rice production has increased three
times since the green revolution. However, climate change and global warming effects as well as ever increasing world population will require the world
to produce more rice without increasing area under rice production in order
to meet those demands. The best option to overcome these challenges includes
adoption of climate-smart technologies and sustainable solutions to rice production. Rice was probably introduced in Tanzania over 1000 years ago by
Asian traders during trade contacts between Asia and East Africa Coast
through Indian Ocean. Rice cultivation had been restricted to coastal area until 19th century when it started spreading to interior areas of Tanzania. During colonial period (1880s-1960s), the emphasis was to produce cash crops as
raw materials for industrialized world. After independence production of rice
increased significantly. Currently, rice is the second most important food
crop in Tanzania after maize and Tanzania is the leading producer of rice in
East African countries. It ranks 4th and 22nd in Africa and World respectively in terms of rice production. In this paper, the rice history, ecosystems,
challenges and future perspective for sustaining rice production in Tanzania
is reviewed.


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