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Hunger Pangs: Food (in)security in Tanzania

A large majority of Sauti za Wananchi respondents (78%) report food shortages where they live. The situation is worse in rural areas where 84% reporting food shortages compared to a still substantial 64% in urban areas.

At least half of Tanzania’s households report that they worried about running out of food (69%); there was not enough food to feed all household members (51%), or a household member skipped a meal because they could not get food (50%).

These findings were released by Twaweza in a research brief titled Hunger pangs: Food (in)security in Tanzania. The brief is based on data from Sauti za Wananchi, Africa’s first nationally representative high-frequency mobile phone survey. The findings are based on data collected from 1,800 respondents across Mainland Tanzania (Zanzibar is not covered in these results) between 14 and 26 September 2016 and from 1,610 respondents between 9 and 15 February 2017.

Although the data clearly show a sharp decline in terms of food security in the five months between September 2016 and February 2017, they also demonstrate how generally food insecure most citizens’ lives are.

In February 2017, 65% of citizens worried about their households not having enough to eat in the previous seven days, compared to 45% in September 2016.

In February 2017, 51% of citizens reported that there was a time that there was not enough food to feed their household in the past three months compared to September 2016 when 43% reported that this had occurred during the previous 12 months.

In February 2017, 35% of citizens reported that a household member had gone without eating the whole day due to lack of food in the previous three months, compared to 21% who reported that this had occurred in the six months before September 2016.


Read more: agriculture

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