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Tanzania - Home of Mount Kilimanjaro

Tanzania is one of the world's poorest nations, with a Gross National Income per capita of $280 US dollars per year, a population of 33.7 million, and an average life expectancy of 43.1 years, according to the World Bank.   80 percent of the economy in Tanzania is based on agriculture, which creates nearly one-half of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and 80 percent of the countries exports.   Current agriculture practices uses almost all of the approximately 4 percent of the land area of Tanzania that is suitable for cultivation.   Due to outside investment in recent years, mineral and industrial production are on the rise, and the economy is growing around 5 percent per year. (Development, 2003)


The native people around Mount Kilimanjaro consists primarily of Chagga, a Bantu-speaking group, the third largest population group in Tanzania. (ALFRED, 2005)   They live primarily small farms around individual homes, growing coffee, bananas, and other crops, and generally not clustering in villages.   Due to the low prices worldwide for coffee and bananas, their chief exports are relatively unprofitable.   The land system is primarily family based, with elders passing on their lands to their sons, resulting in a continually diminishing amount of land for each successive generation.   This has lead to expansion of the farmland out primary areas around Kilimanjaro onto less-productive land nearby. (Soini, 2005)