A joint collaboration between the Tanzania Horticultural Association (TAHA), the Kilimanjaro Airports Development Company (KADCO), international freight forwarder Kuehne+Nagel, and Africa’s leading air carrier Ethiopian Airlines, will ensure that cargo flight will carry perishable crops to overseas markets amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
The coronavirus outbreak has forced most airlines to ground their passenger planes, inducing logistical hurdles and earnestly crippling the exports of local lucrative horticultural crops to the international markets.
TAHA explains that the pandemic has put Tanzania’s multi-million dollars’ green industry under renewed pressure, after a lull of nearly 12 years, as all the country’s horticultural crops exports to the global markets have been relying on passenger flights.
Commenting on the deal, the Tanzanian Minister for Agriculture Japhet Hasunga said, “This is a great relief to us. Despite the devastation caused by Covid-19 globally, the demand for food is still there.”
The main horticultural crops of Tanzania include tomatoes, cabbages, onions, carrots, round potatoes, mangoes, oranges, and flower seeds, among others.
Tanzania’s horticultural industry largely depends on smallholder farmers who own less than 2ha of land.
According to Wageningen University, the value of Tanzania’s current horticultural export is USD 700 million, and this subsector is growing at a rate of 11% per year versus 4% for the overall agriculture sector.