Farming is the most common form of work in Tanzania. Most is subsistence farming, although some groups raise cash crops. Many farmers work together in cooperatives. In some areas of the country, especially on the slopes of the mountains Kilimanjaro and Meru, the soil is extremely fertile. Coffee and tea, as well as pyrethrum (used in making insecticides), are grown on these slopes. Another important crop in Tanzania is sisal, which is used to make twine and rope. Tanzanians also grow cashews, coconuts, cotton, tobacco, bananas, cassava, corn, sweet potatoes and many tropical fruits. Zanzibar is famous for its cloves, which account for more than half of the island's income.
Different ethnic groups are associated with particular kinds of work. The Chagga and Haya are famous for their excellent coffee. The Sukuma usually grow cotton. The Nyamwezi have traditionally been traders. The Masai are known as nomadic herders who also produce elaborate beadwork. The Makonde make beautiful ebony carvings. 

On most Saturdays local villagers go to markets to sell their surplus crops, fish or crafts. Rural people make money by brewing beer or running stores that sell dried fish, razor blades and other supplies. Many people, including children, sell juices and snacks to travellers passing through their towns.

  Did you know?
Cloves are the dried flower buds of an evergreen tree. Cloves were first cultivated in Indonesia and introduced to Zanzibar in the early 19th century. Cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom are also cultivated on the island.
The manufacturing sector of Tanzania is quite small. Industries produce sugar, beer, petroleum, natural gas, cigarettes, sisal twine, textiles and other consumer goods. There are a few mines for diamonds, gold and other gemstones. The majority of the industrial workforce is unskilled or semi-skilled. The minimum wage is set by the Tanzanian government, but the government allows some regional differences in pay. 

Tanzania is one of the poorest nations in the world. Many children, especially girls, leave school to help their families at home or to find a job. Children in rural families, whether they attend school or not, help their families with farming, cooking, preparing goods for the market or looking after younger brothers and sisters.