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A broad development goal of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar as  reflected in the national development vision (Vision 2020) and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)aimed at improving socio-economic situation of the community with a focus in reducing poverty and halving the nation’s food self sufficiency by 2015.  In view these aspirations, the role of agriculture and natural resources sectors which forms important segment in sustaining livelihood of the rural population and employs over 40 percent of Zanzibaris the population should not be underestimated. Under the Vision 2020, all players in agriculture and natural resources value chains have the mandate to spearhead their efforts to ensure three priority goals namely; attaining basic food security, improving income levels and increasing export earnings are realized.

The Zanzibar Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (ZSGRP) popularly known as MKUZA II which is an overarching framework which steer the wheels towards a successful Vision and MDGs in the country recognizes the importance of these sectors in overall economic growth and reduction of rural poverty in Zanzibar. The Agricultural Strategic Plan (ASP, 2011 - 2014) directs the two sectors in efficient allocation of scarce resources to achieve the medium term objectives of the sector. The ASP is set to be reviewed after every three years in order to monitor the progress and guide the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources (MANR) future plans for implementation.


The evolution of the organization responsible for Agricultural development in Zanzibar can be referred back to 19th century (1895), whereby the first department of Agriculture commonly known in Kiswahili as Idara ya Zaraa was established at Dunga Kwa Mwinyi Mkuu in Unguja Island. This development was further pursued by establishment of the Agricultural centres at Machui and Kinooni.

Introduction of livestock species in Zanzibar from the Mainland (Mrima) and other coastal areas of East Africa have started in 18th century, whereby herds of goats and sheep were imported from Bombay and Kismayuu (Somalia), respectively. Other livestock such as pigs, poultry and dairy cattle were also imported from neighbouring countries especially Kenya and European countries mainly Portugal. The first dairy farm in Zanzibar was established at Maruhubi in 1923 whereby Pangeni and Kichwele farms were allocated specially for pasture production.

Kizimbani Agricultural and Research Centre were established in 1934 for the purpose of strengthening agricultural research in the Islands. This initiative was then followed by the introduction of affiliated research stations including Makunduchi, Kitogani and Mkwajuni in Unguja as well as Weni, Wesha and Mtambile in Pemba.

The name Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources had existed until before the Zanzibar Revolution, early 1964 when the land component was added on to form a new Ministry referred to as Ministry of Agriculture and Land Distribution shortly after the Revolution (1964). There were several changes of the names and structures of the Ministry responsible for agriculture until recently (November 2010) following the 4th Zanzibar’s multi-party General Election that put the Seventh Phase Revolutionary Government led by H.E. President Dr. Ali Mohamed Shein on power. Other names previously adopted are: Ministry Agriculture and Livestock Development; Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Cooperatives; Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Environment (2000 – 2010); and Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources (2010 to-date).


The Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resource is responsible in management and coordination of activities related to agricultural and natural resources development in the islands. The Ministry comprises of six (6) Departments, two (2) Institutes and the Liaison Office in Pemba. The MANR affiliations includes: Department of Planning, Policy and Research; Department of Administration and Human Resources; Department of Agriculture; Department of Forest and Non Renewable Natural Resources; Department of Irrigation; Department of Food Security and Nutrition; Kizimbani Agricultural Training Institute (KATI) and the Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR).

At the Regional and District levels, the ministry is represented by the Regional Agriculture Development Officers (RADO) and District Agriculture Development Officers (DADO) who are responsible in coordinating the Ministry’s activities in their respective regions and districts.

The functions of the Directors and other senior officers are overseen by the Principal Secretary with the assistance of two (2) Deputy Principal Secretaries. A detailed MANR organization structure is shown in Figure 1:

The Ministry focuses on promoting research, extension and other services while ensuring sustainable use of natural resources.



Vision Statement

The MANR’s vision is transformation of agricultural sector into a highly diversified, modernized, intensified, commercially viable and competitive production entity by 2020 whilst ensuring food security and ecologically sustainable environment.

Mission Statement

In order to have effective collaboration with its stakeholders and creating conducive environment for the Ministry to realize its vision goals; MANR’s activities will be directed towards achieving the Vision through the following mission:

The MANR’s mission is to promote scope of agricultural enterprises, technological adaptation, production and productivity through creation of effective regulatory and institutional mechanisms and effective delivery of production support services, while ensuring sustainable use of natural resources.


The following will be the main objectives to take care of the broad goals contained in the vision and mission statements:-

  • Strengthen delivery of agricultural support services and promotes adoption of productivity enhancing technologies;
  • Promote sustainable use of natural resources and environmental management;
  • Promote agricultural marketing  including exportation of agricultural commodities, safeguard the interest of smallholder farmers and encourage private sector participation;
  • Create enabling environment for effective implementation of agriculture and related activities thorough improved institutional and regulatory frameworks and human capacity building;
  • Encourage and empower stakeholders to participate  in agricultural development initiatives;
  • To ensure individual, household and national food and nutrition security;
  • Support to mainstreaming crosscutting issues particularly HIV/AIDS and gender into the MANR’s functions.