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Abstract

Rapid economic growth has failed to significantly improve poverty and nutrition outcomes in Tanzania. This raises concerns over a decoupling of growth, poverty, and nutrition. We link recent production trends to household incomes and caloric availability using a dynamic computable general equilibrium and micro-level poverty and nutrition modules. Results indicate that the structure of economic growth—not the level—is currently constraining the rate of poverty reduction in Tanzania. Agricultural growth has been driven by larger-scale farmers that are less likely to be poor. Growth has further been concentrated in crops grown in only a few regions of the country. Slow expansion of food crops and livestock also explains the weak relationship between agricultural growth and nutrition outcomes. Additional model simulations find that accelerating agricultural growth, particularly in maize, greatly strengthens the growth–poverty relationship and enhances caloric availability at the household-level.

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