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Tanzania Horticultural Sector Receives $2.1 Million Boost to Upscale Production and Increase Exports

TAHA Chief Development Manager, Mr. Anthony Chamanga, and TradeMark Africa’s Regional Director for East and Central Africa, Ms. Monica Hangi

The Tanzania Horticultural Association (TAHA) and TradeMark Africa (TMA) have signed a USD 2.1 million (TZS 5.4 billion) grant agreement to initiate Phase II of their collaborative project to promote market expansion.

This second phase, backed by a grant from TMA funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), Norway, and Ireland, spans three years and focuses on advancing market access, promoting sustainable trade practices, and empowering local farmers in the horticultural industry.

TMA explains that despite notable successes, Tanzania’s horticulture sector continues to face substantial challenges, including limited financing access, climate change impacts, and inadequate market information, which could hinder growth.

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These challenges necessitate a united approach from both the government and private sector, incorporating policy support, research and development investment, and development sector initiatives aimed at improving market and credit access for farmers.

The renewed partnership will tackle some of these challenges by establishing direct linkages between farmers and buyers, leveraging digital solutions to improve market accessibility, enhancing market understanding through training, addressing environmental and climate challenges, and ensuring compliance with international standards like Global G.A.P and the British Retail Consortium Global Standards.

Speaking at the grant agreement signing ceremony, TradeMark Africa’s Regional Director for East and Central Africa, Ms. Monica Hangi highlighted the significance of supporting the horticultural sector, particularly in mitigating unemployment among youth and women. “Our commitment through this substantial grant is to upscale production, increase export volumes, and, consequently, job opportunities, thereby reinforcing Tanzania’s standing in the global horticultural market,” said Ms. Hangi.

For his part, TAHA Chief Development Manager Mr. Anthony Chamanga expressed enthusiasm about the project: “This grant marks a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to enhance the global competitiveness of Tanzania’s horticultural products. With TMA’s support, we are well-positioned to implement robust strategies that will lead to sustainable growth and substantial economic benefits for our local communities. By partnering with both public and private stakeholders, along with development partners, this project will not only advance the horticultural sector within the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) and Northern growth corridors but also accelerate the sector’s export growth, currently at around 5%,” said Mr. Chamanga.

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Mr Chamanga further disclosed that the horticultural sector in Tanzania contributes significantly to the national GDP.  “Horticulture ranks as one of the fastest-growing industries within the agricultural sector in Tanzania, boasting an annual growth rate of around 9-12%. This sector not only injects billions into the economy but also is a substantial foreign exchange earner through exports of vegetables, fruits, flowers, and spices. TMA’s support is providing catalytic opportunities for creating jobs and opening new markets for local farmers,” added Mr Chamanga.

Several studies have evaluated the impact of horticulture on Tanzania’s economic development. Research conducted by various local universities and international organizations like the World Bank highlights the sector’s role in improving the livelihoods of rural populations. These studies reveal that advancements in agricultural practices and technology have led to higher productivity, better crop quality, and increased farmer incomes.

Phase II builds on the successes of the first phase, which saw substantial market linkages and certification achievements for local farmers, contributing significantly to economic growth. Phase I of the project which ran from January 2019 to June 2023, yielded tangible results, with 27,854 farmers (35% women, 65% men, and 40% youth) being linked to markets, and approximately 50,000 tons of horticultural products worth roughly TZS 42.7 billion (US$18.3 million) being sold. Additionally, several farmer groups and horticultural packhouses have been trained and certified under international standards, paving the way for the project’s second phase.

TMA stresses that the potential of Tanzania’s horticultural sector to further influence economic development is immense. With strategic collaborations and supportive policies, the sector could enhance its productivity and sustainability, contributing even more substantially to the national economy. The government’s role in facilitating a conducive environment for growth, coupled with stakeholders’ commitment to innovation and quality, will determine the future trajectory of this thriving sector.

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