In her opening remarks, the Head of the Natural Resources section at the EU Delegation to Tanzania, Mrs. Jenny Correia Nunes said that "Tanzania’s demographic and agronomic potential for horticultural crop production means that it could make a significant contribution to economic growth, employment of women and youth along the value chain and the reduction of poverty and stunting. Last but not least, there is an increasing demand for horticultural produce from internal, regional and international markets not least the European Union."
In his welcome speech, AKF Country Director Abid Mallick explained “This event is part of AKF’s learning agenda to harvest lessons and insights from actors who are actively involved in the sector…It is a sector which has tremendous advantages for Tanzanian economy and the population at large in terms of enhancing income, improving nutrition security, engaging women and youth, and creating jobs through MSMEs across the value chain from input supply, packaging, value addition and processing, transportation and marketing.” AKF Tanzania applies a market system for the poor (M4P) approach towards sustainable economic development. Since 2014, with the support of European Union, AKF has strengthened the market system in Lindi and Mtwara Regions for vegetables in partnership with Tanzania Horticulture Association (TAHA). The project has reached more than 6,000 smallholder farmers through a range of value chain interventions, including increasing access to inputs, mobilizing and supporting farmer business groups, and introducing improved technology. AKF’s programming is closely aligned with Tanzania’s national strategy to alleviate poverty, MKUKUTA, and contributes to the country’s commitment to achieving United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Access to markets was identified as the biggest challenge by all the farmers who participated in the event. A farmer from Moshi explained his challenge in accessing the Kariakoo market due to existing cartels by traders who supply this market by procuring from different regions at unequitable prices.
The event concluded with practical recommendations for market stakeholders to improve opportunities for linkages between smallholder farmers and buyers, as well as for affordable and accessible mechanization for agriculture. Recommendations were made to enforce the use of standardised measurements and weighing scales at village or ward levels, improving availability of quality seeds to enhance quality of produce, addressing the issue of mixing of impurities in crops such as pulses, spices and oilseeds to increase weight, support of local government authorities in establishing proper infrastructure or collection points for sale of horticulture produce, promoting rental or leasing market in rural areas for accessing equipment and machineries, and the need to build trust among farmers and buyers who are interested in long-term relationship through contract farming. Service providers and targeted markets must partner and cooperate on innovative approaches to address systemic constraints within the value chain. The event organizers will continue to follow up and drive this agenda with targeted stakeholders.
About European Union TASP
The Trade and Agriculture Support Program (TASP) under the 10th European Development Fund is a EUR 15 million (approximately TZS 35.4 billion) programme. TASP focuses on key commodities offering opportunities for pro-poor trade in the horticulture, fisheries, cotton, coffee and tea sectors. The objective is to increase smallholder farmers' income through better access to national, regional and international markets, by enhancing quality and standards compliance along the value chain.
Aga Khan Foundation is a private, not-for-profit, non-denominational international development agency that works to improve the quality of life of communities in remote and resource poor areas. AKF is an agency of Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), a group of international development agencies, institutions, and programs that work primarily in the poorest parts of Africa and Asia. AKF implements programs related to education, health, and rural development. In Tanzania, AKF operates in Lindi, Mtwara, Zanzibar, and Arusha.