Agricultural Development Policy under British Administration

  • Hans Ruthenberg
Part of the Afrika-Studien book series (AFRIKA-STUDIEN, volume 2)


Economic activity characterized the final decade of British administration more so than its earlier years. The change in political status which followed World War I undoubtedly had negative effects on Tanganyika’s agricultural development, both in the sphere of the estate economy and of peasant farms. In the last decade of the German colonial administration the viewpoint had gained increasing support that estates alone could not achieve the desired production, that the conditions were unsuitable for settling German farmers on family holdings and that therefore African farms were to be encouraged. Since the turn of the century1 the influential Cotton Committee, for example, supported the introduction of cotton cultivations as “a peoples crop”. A report from as early as 1907 states:

“The cultivation of cotton by the Africans... is experiencing continuous development. In many parts of the colony the Africans have already recognized the advantages of this crop, and one may assume that with further encouragement cotton planting will become a permanent practice.”


  1. I At that time Germany imported cotton from overseas, valued at 420 million marks, and three-fourths of this was supplied by the USA. It was hoped that the introduction of cotton cultivation in the German colonies might influence price formation. In this case even relatively expensively produced cotton might have been commercially profitable (see SCHANTZ-CHEMNITZ, „Das erste Vierteljahrhundert deutscher Kolonialherrschaft“, Sonderdruck, Cöthen, 1909 [?]). The German administration also supported coffee planting by Africans. Coffee farmers were exempted from performing otherwise compulsory work. In Moshi-District, in 1916 approx. 16,000 coffee trees were owned by African farmers. (Agricultural District Book, Moshi.)Google Scholar
  2. 1.
    The attempts to settle greater numbers of European farmers near Iringa (Southern Highlands) failed because of faulty organization, unsuitable settlers and poor soil.Google Scholar
  3. 1.
    The same was true of other trial with motorization in the early fifties. The Agricultural Department established small stations with two or three tractors. They were financed by Local Authorities and run by the Agricultural Department. In the beginning the charge for ploughing was 40 shs/acre. Some schemes had a good start. In the Rufigi area 7,720 acres were ploughed in 1952. Yet costs were higher than expected. Peasant fields are small and not consolidated. Finding and measuring small plots of land required much time. It was extremely difficult to get the farmer to pay for services rendered. None of the projects covered costs. They amounted to an average of 76 shs/acre. When the charge was fixed at 60 shs/acre, peasants stopped asking for tractor ploughing. All of the projects had to be abandoned.Google Scholar
  4. 2.
    The idea originated from a member of the commission which prepared the report. He was, however, the director of the Agricultural Department in Dar-es-Salaam.Google Scholar
  5. 1.
    The names and responsibilities of the Ministries changed from time to time. The Ministry for “Natural Resources”, later known as the Ministry for “Agriculture and Co-operative Development” and since 1962 as the “Ministry of Agriculture”, was responsible for various “Departments”, later “Divisions”: “Agriculture, Veterinary Services, Fisheries, Forests, Water Development and Irrigation” and sometimes also for “Co-operative Development” etc. In 1962 the responsibilities of the Ministry of Agriculture were limited to arable farming, animal husbandry, water development and irrigation.Google Scholar
  6. 2.
    Formerly known as “Native Authorities”. They were concerned with African administration on a local level.Google Scholar
  7. 3.
    Responsibility for cattle-markets passed into the hands of the Local Authorities. Since 1962 the Agricultural Department has been responsible for animal husbandry.Google Scholar
  8. 2.
    Including personnel for fishery services, excluding personnel of the Forestry and Veterinary Department.Google Scholar
  9. 3.
    The figures apply to personnel employed as at December 31st.Google Scholar
  10. 4.
    Part of the personnel is always on vacation, part on military service.Google Scholar
  11. 5.
    The figures also include personnel in Dar-es-Salaam.Google Scholar
  12. 6.
    In most cases the Agricultural officers, specialists and field officers have completed courses at an agricultural college. In 1960 the first senior field assistant was promoted to field officer.Google Scholar
  13. 7.
    At first the field assistants were former agricultural instructors who had been promoted to these posts, more recently many of them have completed the two-year course at the agricultural schools at Tengeru and Ukiriguru. The name has been changed to assistant field officer.Google Scholar
  14. 8.
    No new agricultural instructors are being employed.Google Scholar
  15. 1.
    TEMPELS, B.: Bantu-Philosophie, Heidelberg, 1956.Google Scholar
  16. 1.
    Main area of the Lake Region. Figures concern the region.Google Scholar
  17. 1.
    Producer price for seed-cotton.Google Scholar
  18. 2.
    The figures indicating acreage and yields are rough estimates. Provisional figures.Google Scholar
  19. 1.
    F. STUHLMANN reports. “The Wasukuma are interested in progress. They love European goods, in particular textiles. They are skillful workers and, partly, acceptable soldiers.” (See: Mit Emin Pascha ins Herz von Afrika. Berlin 1894.)Google Scholar
  20. 1.
    The institutional regulations altered from time to time. Local Authorities were responsible for the Sukumaland Development Scheme in its initial stages in 1947. Later the Lake Province Cotton Committee, which was financed by the Lint & Seed Marketing Board, was founded. In 1955 the South-East Lake Cotton Council was given responsibility. The council was financed principally by the Lint & Seed Marketing Board. The agricultural specialists, with the exception of a few permanent employees, were seconded by the Agricultural Department.Google Scholar
  21. 1.
    These efforts are well described by the French words: “Animation rurale”. See GOUSSAULT, Z.: Report Sur l’Animation Rurale. Tananarive, Madagascar 1960. ( Mimeo. )Google Scholar
  22. 1.
    Since the signing of the Coffee Convention in 1962 the work is limited to improving the quality of existing coffee trees.Google Scholar
  23. 2.
    Pyrethrum, which is obtained from dried flowers, is the most effective natural insecticide. World production in 1958 was 11,000 tons, 5,000 of which were produced in East Africa — mostly in Kenya. The USA bought 63 per cent of world production. In 1962 there were marketing difficulties. Attempts to control production would strengthen Kenya’s position, but would stifle Tanganyika’s development, and are consequently rejected in Tanganyika. (As to pyrethrum cultivation see: TUCKETT, J. R. Pyrethrum, Bulletin N. 5, 1961.)Google Scholar
  24. 1.
    The Tanganyika Agricultural Corporation farms or leases areas in Nachingwea, Urambo and Kongwa which were cleared under the groundnut scheme. It has taken over management of the Mbarali irrigation project, the tobacco farm Lupatingatinga, Ruvu Ranch, and the Sonjo Settlement. Areas managed in 1960/61:Google Scholar
  25. 1.
    Excluding fallows.Google Scholar
  26. 2.
    Including value of consumption of foodstuff by farmer families, excluding possible earnings from other sources.Google Scholar
  27. 3.
    For services and goods provided by the TAC.Google Scholar
  28. 4.
    Excluding illegal sales.Google Scholar
  29. 6.
    The discrepancy between the number of holdings and of tenants leaving the scheme at the end of the year is covered by new arrivals.Google Scholar
  30. 1.
    Only a part of the farmed area is suitable for tobacco. Tobacco should be grown only once in a four-year period. Thus the larger part of the area is kept fallow.Google Scholar
  31. 1.
    Excluding fallows.Google Scholar
  32. 2.
    Cows which the TAC leased to tenants.Google Scholar
  33. 3.
    Mostly calves and young cattle. The figure for 1960–61 includes 90 cows.Google Scholar
  34. 1.
    Several hundred emergency workers were employed in Matengoro for bush clearance. They were fed from US-supplied maize. The costs amount to several thousand pounds. Little was accomplished. This outlay is not economically justified.Google Scholar
  35. 1.
    Targets for 1968 run as follows: Usambara — 848 acres, Tukuyu — 720 acres, Lupembe — 682 acres and Bukoba — 1,055 acres.Google Scholar
  36. 2.
    The same is true of Uganda.Google Scholar
  37. 3.
    BRIDGER, G. A.: Peasant Tea Production in Tanganyika. ECA/FAO, April 1961, Mimeo.Google Scholar
  38. 1.
    The term “development plan” is incorrect. This is a development budget, which contains the additional expenditures of the various governmental organs for the three-year period. Since the additional services which the government will provide are designed to effect development, there is a distinction between this budget and the usual governmental budget. This development plan does not contain measures for development in the private sector.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1964

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  • Hans Ruthenberg

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