- Tanzania Agricultural and Horticulture Association (TAHA) is leading sector revival.
- The global horticulture market is projected to reach US$40.24 billion by 2026.
- The Tanzanian horticulture industry has the potential to earn US$3 billion per annum.
The fresh produce market is projected to reach US$40.24 billion by 2026 growing at an annual rate of 10.2 percent and Tanzania is angling for a pie of these billions from its horticulture sector.
These statistics by Global Market Estimates (GME) show that the global horticulture market averages US$20.77 billion in 2021 and is growing rapidly.
However, African countries such as Tanzania, which has enormous agricultural production potential still lag behind and only get to enjoy a small percentage of the over US$30 billion horticulture market.
“We believe, when we ensure access to information and knowledge including the adoption of appropriate technologies, market access, and advocating for business enabling environment, there is a potential of earning up to US$3 billion per annum through the Horticulture Industry,” comments Dr. Jacqueline Mkindi, the CEO, Tanzania Agricultural and Horticulture Association (TAHA).
Mkindi adds that Tanzania is making considerable strides in developing the sector but has a long way to achieve its full potential.
“Massive achievements have been accrued so far, including increases in yields of fruits and vegetables by 200 – 300 per cent, increase in export earnings from US$64 million in 2004 to over US$779 million in 2019,” she notes.
The CEO cites government efforts to revamp the horticulture sector noting that already Tanzania has “instilled appropriate policy reforms for horticulture with over 50 issues addressed.”
She adds that there is a significant increase in private investment and support to the horticulture industry but more needs to be done.
“We envision seeing constant horticulture production growth in Tanzania to tap both domestic and global markets. This calls for tireless efforts to ensure strong collaboration with a range of stakeholders on identifying buyers/off-takers, market standards, quality requirements, entry approaches as well as market trends,” she said.
Ethiopia-Tanzania to partner in reviving horticulture sector
Sharing similar sentiments, former Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn has pledged to support the Tanzanian government to revive the multi-million-dollar flower industry, part of the horticulture production ecosystem.
During his recent visit to Tanzania, the diplomat pointed out that; “During the hey-days, the flower industry in Arusha used to bring in US$24.4 million in export value, per annum.”
The Ethiopian leader was hosted by Arusha’s Region Commissioner, John Mongella when the two visited the defunct flower estates in Usa-river, Arumeru District in the region.
“The horticultural industry in Ethiopia is a success story. I can use my experience and networks to help you revamp the non-operational flower farms,” Desalegn pledged.
He pointed out how Ethiopia offered subsidies, generous credit schemes, and even 100 per cent exemption from payment of duties on imported capital goods and raw materials for the development of the sector of his country.
Ethiopia also extends a five-year tax holiday on profits for investors in the horticulture sector in the country. Thanks to these state efforts, Addis Ababa exported over 215,800 tonnes of horticulture products to the international market last year alone.
That export amount translated to over US$514 million in the fiscal year 2023 and is expected to do better this year.
“Exports of flowers accounted for almost 444 million US dollars in revenue, while exports of vegetables and fruits brought in 57 million US dollars and 13.3 million US dollars, respectively,” local media quoted the diplomat.
On his part, Arusha’s RC Mongella said the visit brings fresh impetus and drive for Tanzania to revive its flower industry and by extension horticulture production.
“We’re so delighted to see the influential former prime minister of Ethiopia’s willing heart to support our mission to revive the defunct flower farms and restore the local population’s hope,” RC Mongella said.
According to RC Mongella, the horticulture sector in his region used to earn over US$24.45 million annually and created employment for over 4,000 persons directly and over 40,000 others indirectly.
“The sector generated US$800,240 worth of government taxes and stimulated the rural economic growth,” the RC said.
Case Study: TAHA horticulture support for women farmers
TAHA CEO Dr. Jacqueline Mkindi cited benefits gained by women groups growing tomatoes in the Singida Region.
She highlighted a UN-Women project that works with TAHA through financial support from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) to support women in horticulture in rural Tanzania.
She said the project themed “Realizing Gender Equality through Empowering Women and Adolescent Girls project” is designed to encourage women in rural areas to engage in horticulture production to fight poverty.
“We were the first women to mobilize ourselves to grab the opportunity. And truly, the project started with training on good-agriculture practices, offers techniques and climate-smart technologies as well as market and finance access,” testifies a beneficiary Aziza Mohamed Nyuha.
She is a member of a 29-women farming group who have now moved from conventionally subsistence farming to commercial and diversified production of horticulture.
This women’s group has so far managed to put six acres under tomato farming and in the current season they expect to harvest an average of 42 metric tonnes every year.
“We are proud to be among the many partners that have contributed to boosting economic growth outcomes through the horticulture industry,” the TAHA CEO commented and praised ongoing government efforts to revive the sector.
She was keen to point out that TAHA’s achievement is made possible through the extended financial, technical, and in-kind support from the government of Tanzania, USAID/USDA, the Swedish Embassy, UNDP, EU, TRIAS, FFD, Plan International, UK-Innovative, TMEA, Belgium Government, Fintrac, UN Women, AHA, AKF, ITC to mention but a few of TAHA supporting partners.
In its press statement, TAHA works to strengthen the Tanzanian horticultural industry by uniting and coordinating the industry value chain actors under one roof.
The organization works to safeguard the interests of the private sector to ensure that industry issues are mainstreamed in the national and international agenda.
So far, TAHA has managed to push 60 policy issues to be addressed from 2017 to 2021 through high-level engagements with LGAs and central government in addressing policy challenges in the industry.
Through strong participation, TAHA has seen the removal of at least 36 Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) to facilitate cross-border trade between Kenya and Tanzania.
TAHA has also guided investments worth over US$1.29 million into horticulture by value chain actors. It has facilitated the registration of 213 quality pesticides under a fast-track registration arrangement with the Government.
In summing up, the CEO pointed out that; “…4,523 farmers (55% women) have linked to financial institutions for loans after receiving entrepreneurship and financial management training.”