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Tanzania is a large country, covering 947 thousand square kilometers. Its main geographic features are a coastal plain in the west, northern highlands along the border with Kenya, southern highlands near the Zambian border, and the semi-arid central plains. The population is 42.5 million, 23% of which live in urban areas. Tanzania is larger and more populous than any of its neighbors in eastern and southern Africa with the exceptions of Ethiopia and South Africa. Most of the Tanzania has a single rainy season, which occurs between December and April. The northern and northeaster edge of the country, however, has a bimodal rainfall pattern, with a shorter vuli rainy season from October to December and a longer masika rainy season from March to May. The southern highlands are considered the “breadbasket” of Tanzania, producing most of the marketed maize. The northern highlands is another high-potential zone, producing coffee, and horticultural products. The central and northwest zones are drier and less food secure, growing sorghum, tobacco, and cotton. The southwest of Tanzania produces cassava for domestic consumption and cashews for export.


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