THE government has reiterated its commitment to collaborate with Farm Africa and other stakeholders to promote agriculture value chain to benefit entrepreneurs and the whole economy.
Ministry of Agriculture’s Acting Director for Policy and Planning, Mr Timoth Semuguruka, made the remarks yesterday at a forum on market opportunities for horticultural products and produce.
"We congratulate Farm Africa who has been providing different knowledge on production, value addition and marketing to smallholder producers, their role is enormous and the government recognises their contribution," he said.
He said government was emphasizing smallholders to add value in order to get markets and that the ministry has specialised department for marketing of agricultural products.
He further insisted that in the country there was no food problem but there is a marketing problem.
He also clarified that the aim of doing so was to facilitate better pricing of crops and urged farmers to continue cooperating with government institutions such as TRA, SIDO, TBS, NMB Bank and others to get accurate information on various processes.
Farm Africa Programme Manager Ms Beatrice Muliahela said their organisation has been implementing this project to deliver embedded business development services and short-term technical assistance to emerging horticultural enterprises in Arusha and Dar es Salaam.
Also in Coast, Dodoma, Iringa, Mbeya, Morogoro, Songwe, Njombe and Tanga regions.
"The project has been delivering technical assistance by supporting 30 horticultural processors," she said, adding that this will minimize post-harvest losses from rotten fruits.
She further explained that the three-year project funded by Norway Development Aid Agency (NORAD) started in 2019 and expected to end by December 2021.
In Tanzania besides horticulture, Farm Africa works in several other value chains including oilseeds (sunflower, sesame), sorghum, maize, beans, grain staple crops (rice, maize, beans), forest products (honey, mushrooms) and moringa.
One of the horticultural processor from Kisarawe, Ms Lydia Jacob from women and youth group called Upendo Development Group, said Farm Africa through this project has enabled them to acquire more markets and offer employment to more women and youth.
"Farm Africa have given us the ability through their training as now we properly keep our financial records, made a business plan and I am teaching others how to add value," she said.
She also encouraged other women and youth to join farming and value addition of horticultural crops as they would see the benefits.
The Director of Jofenai Investment Company Limited Ms Joyce Felician said processing of horticultural crops had benefited her life through the profit.
"As a young woman, I decided to become self-sufficient and get involved in processing horticultural products and now I see the profit," she noted.
Farm Africa has enabled young people to become processors of horticultural crops to earn money
The Director of SECH Food Product, Ms Monica Sechalo said she processing horticultural crops and grains had enabled her to earn a living, sending her children to school.