DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH

by Hugh Wenban-Smith:

This is a further summary report of development research in Tanzania, culled from journals in the library of the London School of Economics. It covers the period July to December 2012. The format is: Journal title; Volume and issue number; Author(s); Article title; Abstract (sometimes abbreviated but other­wise as published).

Journal of Contemporary African Studies, Vol 30(4) – Special issue on mining and urbanisation in Africa – Bryceson DF, Jonsson JB, Kinabo C & Shand M “Unearthing treasure and trouble: Mining as an impetus to urbanisation in Tanzania”.
Despite an abundance of mineral wealth and an ancient history of gold trading, Tanzania is a relative latecomer to the experience of being a mineral dominated economy. Both the British colonial state and Nyerere’s post-colonial state avoided encouraging, and only reluctantly provided support to, large- and small-scale mining. Farming constituted the livelihood for the vast majority of the population and peasant agricultural exports provided the main source of foreign exchange for the country. Now, however, Tanzania has become one of Africa’s main gold producers and the number one destination for non-oil for­eign direct investment after South Africa. This article traces the development of gold mining and urban growth in Tanzania with the aim of identifying if, when and where these two processes interact with one another. It explores the triggers, mechanisms and durability of their fusion and synergies over time.

Review of Development Economics, Vol 16(3) – Channing A, Farmer W, Strzepec K & Thurlow J “Climate change, agriculture and food security in Tanzania”.
Due to their reliance on rain-fed agriculture, both as a source of income and consumption, many low-income countries are considered to be the most vul­nerable to climate change. Here, we estimate the impact of climate change on food security in Tanzania. Representative climate projections are used to cali­brate crop models to predict crop yield changes for 110 districts in Tanzania. These results are in turn imposed on a highly disaggregated, recursive dynamic economy-wide model of Tanzania. We find that, relative to a no-climate-change baseline, and considering domestic agricultural production as the channel of impact, food security in Tanzania appears likely to deteriorate as a consequence of climate change. The analysis points to a high degree of diversity of outcomes (including some favourable outcomes), across climate scenarios, sectors and regions. Noteworthy differences in impacts across households are also present, both by regions and by income category.

Journal of Development Studies, Vol 48(9) – Asfaw S, Kassie M, Simtowe F & Lipper L “Poverty reduction effects of agricultural technology adoption: Micro-evidence from Tanzania”.
This article evaluates the impact of adoption of improved pigeon pea technolo­gies on consumption expenditure and poverty status using cross-sectional data of 613 households from rural Tanzania. Using multiple econometric tech­niques, we found that adopting improved pigeon pea significantly increases consumption expenditure and reduces poverty. This confirms the potential role of technology adoption in improving household welfare as higher incomes translate into lower poverty. This study supports broader investment in agricul­tural research to address vital development challenges. Reaching the poor with better technologies however requires policy support for improving extension efforts, access to seeds and market outlets that stimulate adoption.

Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol 50(4) – Hillborn E “Market institu­tions benefitting smallholders in Meru, Tanzania”.
Smallholders in developing countries can potentially benefit from access to local, regional, national and international markets as they intermediate between rural and urban demand for agricultural products and smallholder supply. This study investigates how smallholders in Meru make use of the various marketing channels that are available to them, and argues that the variety of potential mar­keting channels and easily accessible market information enables smallholders to weigh advantages and disadvantages with varying market opportunities and form rational decisions.

World Development, Vol 40(12) – D’Exelle B, Lecoutere E & van Campenhout B “Equity-efficiency trade-offs in irrigation water sharing: Evidence from a field lab in Tanzania”.
This article studies how users of scarce common water resources deal with equity-efficiency trade-offs. For this purpose, we conduct a field lab experi­ment in Tanzania that simulates the distribution of irrigation water between upstream and downstream users. We find a strong preference for equal sharing even if this comes with larger foregone efficiency gains. However, we also find indications that efficiency considerations are taken into account. (Selfish) deviations from equal sharing are more likely implemented when they are efficiency-enhancing. Finally we detect a tendency to alternate between altru­istic and selfish sharing, which reconciles equity and efficiency considerations.

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