Given global heterogeneity in climate-induced agricultural variability, Tanzania has the potential to substantially increase its maize exports to other countries. If global maize production is lower than usual due to supply shocks in major exporting regions, Tanzania may be able to export more maize at higher prices, even if it also experiences below-trend productivity. Diverse destinations for exports can allow for enhanced trading opportunities when negative supply shocks affect the partners’ usual import sources. Future climate predictions suggest that some of Tanzania’s trading partners will experience severe dry conditions that may reduce agricultural production in years when Tanzania is only mildly affected. Tanzania could thus export grain to countries as climate change increases the likelihood of severe precipitation deficits in other countries while simultaneously decreasing the likelihood of severe precipitation deficits in Tanzania. Trade restrictions, like export bans, prevent Tanzania from taking advantage of these opportunities, foregoing significant economic benefits.
Ahmed, S.A.; Diffenbaugh, N.S.; Hertel, T.W.; Martin, W.J. Agriculture and Trade Opportunities for Tanzania: Past Volatility and Future Climate Change. UNU-WIDER, Helsinki, Finland (2011) 34 pp. [WIDER Working Paper No. 2011/91]