Food Security

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 785–798 | Cite as

Drivers of rural-urban migration and impact on food security in rural Tanzania

  • Isabell Duda
  • Anja FasseEmail author
  • Ulrike Grote
Original Paper


This paper contributes to (1) the Valletta action plan by identifying root causes of migration in Africa, and (2) the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda reflecting the close links between migration and development. Our objectives are to identify drivers of rural-urban migration in Tanzania and to examine its impact on food security. The analyses are based on survey data of 900 rural households in the Dodoma and Morogoro districts of Tanzania from 2013. The logistic regression revealed that several household characteristics such as age of the household head, household size, and dependency ratio, but also employment and welfare status determine whether any household member migrates from the rural area to an urban area. Households from the more remote and food insecure Dodoma district were more likely to have migrants looking for jobs than households from Morogoro district. The Propensity Score Matching approach revealed that migration significantly worsens the food security status of rural migrant households in terms of access, availability and stability. This outcome is explained by the loss in labor input, leading to lower agricultural productivity of rural households, which cannot be compensated by the transfer of remittances from their respective migrants. Thus, migration does not always function as a pathway out of food insecurity in developing countries.


Internal migration Food security Propensity score matching Logistic regression Sub-Saharan Africa 



This publication is a product of the project “Innovating Strategies to Safeguard Food Security using Technology and Knowledge Transfer: A people-centered Approach (TransSEC)” ( funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and co-financed by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The views expressed are those of the authors and may not under any circumstances be regarded as stating an official position of the BMBF and BMZ.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature and International Society for Plant Pathology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Environmental Economics and World TradeLeibniz University HannoverHannoverGermany
  2. 2.Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences, TUM Campus StraubingStraubingGermany

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