Road infrastructure is the backbone of many rural and urban transport systems. Rural transport provides assurance for the supply of the agricultural inputs and facilitates the delivery of the farm outputs to the markets. In rural areas, among other strategies to stimulate agricultural sector development is to improve rural accessibility through the provision of rural road infrastructure and improved transport services. Little is known, however, about the extent of agricultural production improvement following these initiatives. This paper investigates and empirically quantifies the impact of improved rural accessibility on agricultural production of Tanzanian smallholder farmers. Using the Tanzania National Panel Survey (NPS) data of 2012/13, the relationship between transport price, access to the market and crop yield was established. The results show a positive impact on crop yield following the reduction of transport price with an elasticity of -0.291. Farmers who have access to the bigger markets, on average, produce high crop yield. For the development of the agricultural sector, the improvement of rural road infrastructure and transport service should be linked to the roads going to the bigger markets, otherwise, the impact on agricultural sector will be low.
Papers presented at the 36th Southern African Transport Conference, CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa on 10-13 July 2017.