Tanzanian horticulture goods set to feature as $10 billion French market

Monday March 21 2022
Horti pic
By The Citizen Reporter

Arusha. Tanzania’s horticultural crops will soon be among front shelves items in the world’s biggest fresh produce market of Rungis with 18 million consumers and nearly $10 billion turnover per annum.
This follows the recent lucrative commercial deals signed by the country’s key player in horticulture industry, Taha, with the largest fresh produce companies in Rungis market on the fringes of Paris, in France.
With an area of 234 hectares, 1,200 companies, 18 million consumers, and nearly $10 billion turn over per annum, the world’s biggest fresh produce market trades 1.2 million metric tonnes of fruits and vegetables.
Taha group’s CEO, Ms Jacqueline Mkindi, who was on official tour of France sealed the exports deals, thanks to Mr Samwel Shelukindo, the Tanzania envoy to France for his painstaking efforts to link up her with the key companies with the widespread fresh produces supply chain across Europe.
“Mr Shelukindo, our seasoned Diplomat to France, has connected us with the largest importers, exporters and dealers in horticultural crops in Rungis Market to forge commercial ties that will see us importing our fresh produces,” Ms Mkindi said shortly upon her arrival. The commercial agreements have also been made possible by the courtesy of President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s State visit to France.
Engagement of President Samia with the business community in the European country went a long way in reinforcing the confidence for players of both countries’ private sectors to enter into business ties.
Taha group is currently working overtime to identify fresh crop varieties to fill the shelves of the Rungis Market chain as part of its commercial agreements obligations. “If all goes well, we will by April 2022 commence exports of high value fresh crops, namely avocado, chills and French beans, to the Rungis Market in France to hook a slice of the $10-billion market,” Ms Mkindi explained.
Taha boss added: “This is a major breakthrough for our horticulture growers, as the France-based Rungis Market offers unlimited export of fresh produce all year round and promises higher returns to smallholder growers.”
Taha group is also finalising an agreement with a strategic agent in France, a deal that will see the later promoting and branding Tanzania horticultural produce for them to penetrate into other key European markets.
“This particular agreement will help support participation of our horticulture industry in the global value chains as it will enhance competitiveness of the country’s exports for it to exploit in full its trade-driven growth potential.” Ms Mkindi noted.
During her tour, Ms Mkindi also visited the French’s most effective startups centre for mentoring young entrepreneurs to venture into agriculture.
Plans involving Education and Agriculture ministries as well as the private sector for Tanzania to replicate the model are underway.
Ms Mkindi also established crucial contacts during the tour with high-level experts who will come to Tanzania to analyse soil and climatic conditions for grape production.
She further engaged a key French investor interested in entering into a joint venture with a Tanzania’s firm to produce top class champagne for local and export markets.
“I had a fruitful interaction with the French Councilor of Agriculture and Food in East Africa, Mr. Vicent Abdi, who will support TAHA group in unlocking more potential markets and logistic issues for fresh crop exportation,” Ms Mkindi noted.
Taha boss is currently in touch with Tanzania’s Ambassador to the Republic of Germany, Abdallah Saleh Possi to help logistics for her as she will lead a ten horticultural produce and export companies from Tanzania to Germany to participate in the forthcoming Fruit Logistica, the World’s premier fruits and vegetables fair to be held in Berlin next month. Taha recently rolled-out one of its “most far-reaching strategy” that will see the value of horticultural exports ballooning to $1 billion annually by 2026. For instance, in 2021 Tanzania defied all odds compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic, as it saw its avocado exports incredibly surging to 11,237 metric tons worth $33 million at the prevailing World market prices.
The growth is equivalent to 12.6 percent up from the export value achieved in 2020. However, TAHA projects the country will export 15,000 metric tons in 2023 and fetch the economy a staggering $45 million in foreign currency.