Dar es Salaam. Sweden’s Development Corporation Division (DCD) has given a $5 million (Sh10.8 billion) grant to Tanzania to increase horticultural production.
The money will be provided to the Tanzania Horticulture Association (Taha) in five years.
The DCD deputy head of mission, Mr Ulf Källsting, told journalists yesterday here that the aim is to support smallholder farmers to increase productivity and improve produce standards to meet international levels.
“Sweden’s support is in line with Tanzania’s goal of industrialisation… We want to add value to farm produce,” he said.
In recent years, Tanzania’s horticulture industry has been receiving inadequate attention. The focus has been on traditional crops such as maize, cotton, sisal, and coffee. However, horticulture export earnings have increased in the last decade.
Moreover, horticulture has grown at 8-10 per cent annually during the period, more than twice the average growth rate of agriculture in general.
Taha chief executive officer Jacqueline Mkindi hopes the grant will help the association unlock potentials of horticulture in the Lake Zone. Currently, cut flower production is concentrated in Arusha. Ms Mkindi said the new deal would enable Tanzania to export fresh potatoes to Sweden