The villagization program of the mid-1970s was followed by government efforts to distribute improved seed corn and fertilizers through the new village administrations, but timely distribution of such agricultural inputs was largely thwarted by the logistical problems of transporting them to the villages.Nevertheless, increased yields, attributed to the use of chemical fertilizers, have been achieved in corn production in the southern and southwestern regions.Diamonds, gold, kaolin, gypsum, tin, and various gemstones, including tanzanite, are mined in Tanzania.Gold is an important resource and the country’s most valuable export.
Once the source of more than nine-tenths of the world’s cloves, Zanzibar now produces only about one-tenth of the international supply.
The country’s preoccupation with agricultural production, which increased in the 1970s and ’80s, is a reflection of the government’s commitment at that time to socialist development and central planning, as outlined in the Arusha Declaration of 1967.
The declaration also resulted in the nationalization of a number of industries and public services.
Despite attempts to cut imports to the barest minimum, the trade deficit widened to an unprecedented level, and the balance-of-payments problem became so acute that development projects had to be suspended.
This economic crisis forced the government to secure a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1986.
Difficulty in obtaining adequate power supply (a large proportion of the country is not linked to the main electricity grid) remained an obstacle to the development of manufacturing capabilities in the early 21st century.