According to recent reports, more than 125,000 local smallholder Tanzania farmers stand to benefit from a new collaborative project that will be undertaken by Mtanga Farms Limited (MFL) and a Nigerian company, the Tonny Elumelu Foundation (TEF), in an effort to help produce quality potato seeds in the southern Tanzania highlands.
In the last decade, Tanzania has not registered any new potato varieties, but following a deal that was recently reached by the TEF, Heirs Holdings Limited and the Tanzanian farmers firm Mtanga, these collaborators are now planning to invest in a 2,200-hectare farm in order to produce the potato seeds.
In a statement that was recently published in a report by the East African Business Week, the two companies announced their plan to invest in the establishment of the Tanzania seed potato industry in the Iringa region.
“This deal will help Mtanga establish a seed potato industry,” reads the statement, “which will significantly benefit more than 125,000 local farmers in the region alone.”
According to the agreement, those who will benefit from the project will be farmers who have proven that they will be able to increase their crop yields by at least three their original size after being furnished with the quality seed potatoes.
The East African Business Week report not only suggests that the location in the Tanzanian southern highlands is for horticultural production, but also indicates that the region could become the foundation for the country’s Kilimo Kwanza agricultural initiative, which could result in a significant improvement in the country’s overall food security.
Currently, the MFL is already invested in the cultivation of barley, maize, oil seed and wheat in the Iringa region in addition to its ongoing livestock investment in local and cross breed cattle that are raised and fattened to be used for premium meat.
According to Tony Elumelu, the founder and chairman of the TEF, all of the MFL crops and livestock are being used for consumption domestically, which will also benefit also Tanzania’s food security stock.
In addition, Mr. Elumelu, went on to emphasize the importance of that this joint potato project, saying that it represents the first time that an African philanthropic organization and an investment firm have engaged in a joint investment.
“With this deal, we hope to set a new standard for both philanthropy and investments in Africa,” he said, “We seek to drive African economic growth from within by investing in businesses that generate social, environmental, and financial returns.”