PRODUCTION & NATIONAL CURRENCY
Official currency is the Tanzania Shilling (TZS). The monthly average exchange rate was 1 US dollar to 1,580.5 Tanzanian Shillings (November 2012)
Agriculture makes up the major portion of the Tanzanian economy. It accounts for almost the quarter of GDP, 20 percent of merchandise exports, is the main source of food and employs approximately 70 percent of the labour force. It has linkages with the other sectors of the economy through agro-processing, consumption and exports, providing raw materials to industries and providing market for manufactured goods.
- The major domestically consumed crops include: maize, sorghum, millet, rice, wheat, pulses (mainly beans), cassava, potatoes, bananas and plantains
- Major export crops include: coffee, cotton, cashew nut, tobacco, sisal, pyrethrum, tea, cloves, horticultural crops, oil seeds, spices and flowers.
The nation has many natural resources including minerals, natural gas, and tourism. Tanzania has vast amounts of minerals including gold, diamonds, coal, iron, uranium, nickel, chrome, tin, platinum, coltan, niobium, and others. Tanzania is the third-largest producer of gold in Africa after South Africa and Ghana. The country is also known for Tanzanite, a type of precious gemstone that is found only in Tanzania. Tanzania has one of the largest rare earths oxides deposits outside of China. It has also made five onshore and shallow water discoveries of natural gas fields in the vicinities of Songo Songo Island, Mnazi Bay, Mkuranga, Kiliwani North and Nyuni. Out of five discoveries, only two gas fields, Songo Songo and Mnazi Bay are producing, as Mkuranga and Nyuni gasfields have not been assessed substantively to determine the commerciality of both reservoirs.
The mineral sector started to pick-up slowly in the late 90s; major discoveries are announced regularly. However, the mineral sector has yet to start contributing significantly to the overall Tanzanian economy, and industry is still mainly limited to processing agricultural products and light consumer goods.
Unlike minerals, the contribution of the tourism sector to the Tanzanian economy is steadily rising year after year. Tanzania is the home of the world-famous Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain. The country has dozens of beaches such as those found in Zanzibar and national parks like the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Other smaller parks, such as Mikumi National Park, which is located near Dar es Salaam, also contribute to the economy of the country.