This paper provides an extended analysis of livelihood diversification in rural Tanzania, with special emphasis on artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM). Over the past decade, this sector of industry, which is labour-intensive and comprises an array of rudimentary and semi-mechanized operations, has become an indispensable economic activity throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, providing employment to a host of redundant public sector workers, retrenched large-scale mine labourers and poor farmers. In many of the region’s rural areas, it is overtaking subsistence agriculture as the primary industry. Such a pattern appears\ud to be unfolding within the Morogoro and Mbeya regions of southern Tanzania, where findings from recent research suggest that a growing number of smallholder farmers are turning to ASM for employment and financial support. It is imperative that national rural development programmes take this trend into account and provide support to these people
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