High global food prices – crisis or opportunity for smallholder farmers in Tanzania?

The recent food-price crisis has contributed towards a huge increase in the number of hungry people in the world. The main purpose of this article is to use empirical data collected from food-surplus and food-deficit study districts to assess to what degree, and how, high food prices have affected smallholder farmers in Tanzania when it comes to production, income, food security, and livelihood security. The main finding is that some smallholder farmers in the food-surplus study area have benefited from high food prices, but that potential benefits are hampered by a range of factors other than food prices. In the food-deficit study areas, smallholder farmers are worse off due to the increase in food prices. The article discusses lessons learned and considers how smallholder farmers could take better advantage of the food-price increase and thereby improve their livelihoods.