- President Samia Suluhu Hassan views horticulture as a significant sub-sector in the creation of jobs
Arusha. The government plans to unlock the full potential of horticulture as it seeks to make the industry the largest source of foreign exchange in the near future.
The agriculture deputy minister, Anthony Mavunde, disclosed the idea in Arusha, where he was attending the GlobalG.A.P. conference organised by the horticulture key driver, Taha.
“The government under President Samia Suluhu Hassan views horticulture as a significant industry in terms of foreign exchange earnings, job creation for youth and women, and poverty alleviation,” Mr. Mavunde said.
He told the conference, dubbed “Enhancing Compliance for Expanded Market Access and Trade,” that the government has developed a number of policies aimed at increasing the horticulture industry’s contribution to the economy to $2 billion by 2030, up from the current $750 million.
Mr Mavunde cited opening up the international markets, the development of key infrastructures critical to reducing post-harvest losses from the current 35 percent to zero, and the improved handling of the perishables destined for overseas markets at the Dar es Salaam port as among the measures to stimulate the industry’s growth.
“Plans are underway to establish the cold chain management system to serve horticultural products in transit, processing, storage, and display as part of the government’s grand strategy to boost exports,” the deputy minister noted.
He also stated that the ministry, led by Minister Hussein Bashe, is working to implement the National Development Strategy, which calls for agriculture to grow by 10 percent by 2030, up from the current 5 percent.
“We are in talks with the United States of America and Spain over the possibilities of unlocking these two key markets for our horticulture crops to get reliable markets, bring more foreign currency to the economy, and improve household income,” he noted.
Taha, in collaboration with the Finnish Agri-agency for Food and Forest Development (FFD), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), TradeMark East Africa (TMEA), EU-Agriconnect, and TRIAS, brought the GlobalG.A.P. tour stop 2022 to Tanzania for the first time in history.
The GlobalG.A.P Tour Stop is a conference that brings together horticulture stakeholders to deliberate on efforts that will enable increased compliance to GlobalG.A.P standard requirements for international market access.
The Arusha regional commissioner, Mr John Mongela, vowed to work with Taha to stimulate the horticulture industry’s growth to contribute more to the regional and country’s economies, as well as a critical mass of farmers.
“The horticulture industry in Tanzania was born in Arusha before spreading to the southern highlands. The industry touches a critical mass of farmers,” Mongella said, adding, “its contribution to Arusha’s GDP is significant, so we are ready to collaborate with Taha to accelerate its growth.”
The Taha Group chief executive officer, Jacqueline Mkindi, commended President Samia Suluhu Hassan for her efforts to unlock the strategic markets for horticulture. She said that the assignment ahead was to work with the government to put up appropriate infrastructure, impart farmers with the right skills to produce the required quality and volume to meet the standards of overseas markets, and craft investment-friendly policies to attract foreign direct investors (FDI) to spur the industry.