The Synergy of Food Sovereignty and the Politics of Malnutrition in Tanzania: What Works, Why and How?




Agriculture, Food sovereignty, Malnutrition, Policy reforms, Structural transformation, Tanzania


Recent data from Tanzania's National Bureau of Statistics show the alarming extent of malnutrition: 35% of under-five children classified as stunted and 15% as underweight, demanding urgent intervention. This paper investigates the synergy between food sovereignty and politics of malnutrition in Tanzania, examining mechanisms, effectiveness, and strategies. It asserts that the interplay between food sovereignty and politics of malnutrition drives socio-economic progress and food security. Using a case study approach, the paper evaluates scalable food sovereignty projects in Tanzania. Interviews with stakeholders, including officials, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and experts, offered insights into the complex relationship. The paper explores “food sovereignty” theory alignment with case studies (the What), rationale for realizing the right-to-food in Tanzania (the Why), and operationalizing policies amid the “politics of malnutrition” (the How). The paper draws on political ecology theory by Bryant and Bailey to explore food sovereignty-malnutrition synergy. Findings reveal that successful food sovereignty projects enhance food security and reduce child malnutrition. Factors include agroecological practices, traditional food systems, women and youth engagement, and community resource mobilization, empowering communities and prioritizing nutrition. Food sovereignty proves transformative in Tanzania and similar contexts, yet structural/political changes are vital to challenging industrial agriculture and global markets. In general, the success of food sovereignty projects in addressing malnutrition in Tanzania illustrates the potential of food sovereignty as a transformative approach to addressing food insecurity and malnutrition. However, achieving food sovereignty requires challenging the dominance of industrial agriculture and global food markets.




How to Cite

Ngowi, E. E., & Martin, R. (2024). The Synergy of Food Sovereignty and the Politics of Malnutrition in Tanzania: What Works, Why and How?. Journal of Academics Stand Against Poverty, 4(Special Issue), 29–49.