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 Since the mid-eighties, the Tanzania economy has undergone gradual fundamental transformation that has redefined the role of government and the private sector. Under the new environment most of the production, processing and marketing functions have been assigned to the private sector while the government has retained regulatory and public support functions. These macro changes have and continue to have profound impact on the agricultural sector in which, already agricultural input and output prices have been decontrolled, subsidies have been removed, and monopolies of cooperative and marketing boards have been eliminated.

At institutional level, the agriculture sector lead ministries ( Ministry of Agriculture Food and Cooperatives, Ministry of Livestock Development and Fisheries, Ministry of Industry Trade and Marketing and Prime Minister's Office Regional Administration and Local Government) have assumed new missions in which they see themselves as essentially performing public sector support functions, which among others include research, extension and training, policy formulation, information services, regulatory functions, protection of environment and provision of enabling environment for private sector participation in the agricultural production, processing and marketing.

The privatization of commercial functions is supported by programme of parastatal divesture, which aims at enhancing investment resources in agricultural enterprises, thereby stimulating productivity and production and ensuring financial sustainability of the enterprises.


Stakeholders in agriculture envisage an agricultural sector that is modernized, commercial, highly productive and profitable, utilizes natural resources in an overall sustainable manner and acts as an effective basis for inter-sectoral linkages by the year 2025.


Potential areas for agriculture in the country:

Tanzania is endowed with an area of 94.5 million ha. of land, out of which 44 million ha are classified as suitable for agriculture. However, part of this arable land may be only marginally suitable for agricultural production for a variety of reasons, including leaching, drought proneness and tsetse infestation.

Currently land under utilization

According to National Sample Census for Agriculture of 2002/2003 the area under cultivation is 9.1 million ha. This includes 7.8 ha of annual crops (including fallow), 1.2 million ha permanent crops (including planted trees). Studies conducted by URT/WB 2000 estimated that out of 50 million ha. suitable for livestock production only 26 million ha, or 50% is currently being used mainly due to tsetse-fly infestation. Per capital land holding (hectare per head) is 0.1 ha.

Land Resource (million ha)

  • Total land 94.5
  • Arable land 44.0
  • Cultivated land 9.5
  • Area suitable for irrigation 29.4
  • Planted area under irrigation 0.27
  • Area of high development potential 2.3
  • Area of medium development potential 4.8
  • Land under medium and large scale farming 1.5
  • Range land 50.0
  • Land under livestock 26.0
  • Tsetse infested area 24.0
  • Total land allocated to small holders 11.9

  Land Distribution in the Country i.e. land available in each region that is potential for Agriculture Investments

The available surveyed land in each region and unsurveyed land parcels that are potential for agriculture investment is shown in the Table below


No Region No. of Parcels Area (Ha)
1 Arusha 14 4171.66
2 Coast 61 85410.42
3 Dar es Salaam NA NA
4 Dodoma NA NA
5 Iringa 16.0 6391.05
6 Kagera NA NA
7 Kigoma NA NA
8 Kilimanjaro 6 2579.73
9 Lindi NA NA
10 Manyara NA NA
11 Mara 12 11463.00
12 Mbeya 4 554.07
13 Morogoro 1 20000.00
14 Mtwara NA NA
15 Mwanza 7 4835.00
16 Rukwa 2 507.50
17 Ruvuma 4 5012.32
18 Shinyanga NA NA
19 Singida 1 2197.00
20 Tabora 1 43012.00
21 Tanga 18 268497.56
TOTAL 147 454,631.30



Land Management

For the purpose of the management of land under Land Act, 1999 and all other laws applicable to land, public land falls in the following categories: -

  • General Land ;
  • Village Land ; and
  • Reserved Land.

Under Section 4 (1) the Land Act, 1999, all land in Tanzania belongs to the State. Land can, however, be owned in three different ways 1) Government granted right of occupancy 2) Tanzania Investment Center (TIC) derivative rights 3) Sub - Leases created out of granted right of occupancy by the private sector.

Rights of occupancy and derivative rights are granted for short term and long-term periods ranging from 5 - 99 years and are renewable, but for not more than 99 years. Long term derivates rights and leases range between 5 - 98 years.

Right of Occupancy

Requirements for application of right of occupancy include: -

  • Duly filled Land Form No. 19
  • Passport size photograph
  • Application fee
  • Any other information as required by the Commissioner of land
  • Declaration of all rights and interests in Land in Tanzania which the applicant has at the time of application
  • Consent of local authority or other body where any law requires
  • Application by a non-citizen or foreign company should be accompanied by a Certificate of Incentives granted by Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) under Tanzania Investment Act, 1997

Acceptance of offer of a right of occupancy shall be:

By filling and signing Land Form No. 20 (for urban land) or Land Form No. 21 (for farm land) and signed by the applicant or his authorized representative or agent accompanied by a fee.

A Certificate of Occupancy shall be issued in the name of the President and shall be in Land Form No. 22 (for urban land) and Land for No. 23 (for farm land).


Procedures for acquiring land for local investors

Under Section 19 (1) of the Land Act 1999 citizen investors or group of them may acquire land by a granted right of occupancy or a derivative right or by obtaining a sub lease from private sector.

The procedures to be followed by local investors when applying for farmland

  • Application submitted to District Authority
  • Consideration by District Land Allocation Committee for land up to 500 acres
  • Recommendations by Minister of Lands for land exceeding 500 acres
  • Application approved or rejected by Minister of Lands or District Land Allocation Committee.
  • Applicant notified
  • Letter of Offer issued stipulating fees for approved application
  • Certificate of Occupancy prepared
  • Certificate registered
  • Duplicate given to the occupier of land

The procedures to be followed by local investors when applying for urban land

  • Application submitted to Urban Authority
  • Application submitted to Urban Authority Allocation Committee
  • Application approved or rejected.
  • Applicant notified
  • Letter of Offer issued stipulating fees for approved application
  • Certificate of Occupancy prepared
  • Certificate Registered by Registrar of Titles
  • Duplicate Certificate given to occupier of land


The procedures to be followed by both local and foreign investors when applying for Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) Derivative Rights. It applies to both urban and farmland  

  • Land identification by, Ministry of Lands, Urban Authority, District Authority, TIC or An Investor.
  • Land gazzettement by the Ministry of Lands
  • Land designation to TIC by the Commissioner for Lands
  • Submission of application to the Executive Director TIC
  • Application approved or rejected by TIC
  • Investor(s) notified
  • Preparations of Derivative of Rights for approved application
  • Derivative Title registered
  • Duplicate Derivative title given to occupier of land.


Procedures for acquiring land for foreign investors

Occupation of land by non-citizens is restricted to lands for investment purposes under the Tanzania Investment Act, 1997. Under the Land Act, 1999 a foreign investor may occupy land through:

  • Derivative rights under section 20(2) of the Land Act, 1999
  • Application to the Commissioner for Lands for grant of Right of Occupancy under section 25(1)(h) and (i) of the Land Act, 1999
  • Sub-leases from private sector
  • Licenses from the Government
  • Purchase from other holders of granted Right of occupancy.

Land designated for investment purposes shall be identified, gazzetted and allocated to TIC, which shall create derivative rights to investors. Instances of grant of right of occupancy to a non-citizen are recognized under section 19(2) of Land Act, 1999. Section 22(1) (ii) allows the granted right of occupancy to be capable of being a subject of disposition.

In this later case a right of occupancy can be disposed off from one holder to another provided the land will be sold to and acquired by a non-citizen if it is for investment purposes endorsed by TIC. Another way in which non-citizen investors can acquire land is by obtaining sub-leases from the private sector or through Government Licenses.

The procedures to be followed by foreign investors when applying for grant of right of occupancy. It applies to both urban and farmland Application submitted to the Commissioner for Lands accompanied by Certified copy of Certificate of Incentives issued by TIC and photograph of the applicant(s)

  1. Application approved or rejected by Commissioner for Lands
  2. Investor(s) notified


Note: The acquired land either for farmland or urban land is subject to payment of stamp duty, survey fee, registration fee, preparation fee and land rent charges. These fees are subject to changes with time and location.


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