THE government has assured horticulture farmers of reliable markets. Arumeru District Commissioner Richard Ruyango said the government was aware of challenges that farmers face when looking for markets for their produce.
“We will create new markets for products with higher added value for packed fruits and vegetables,” assured the District at a Gender Symposium held here recently.
Engineer further assured the farmers of harvesting techniques, the grading and sorting of crops and the packing, transport and storage.
He however challenged the farmers to protect the environment for in a bid to catapult the sector to greater heights. The District Commissioner insisted that by adopting conservation practices, farmers can build rich, fertile soils that will grow robust crops while protecting water sources.
“You’ll not enjoy bumper harvests if you don’t care about the environment,” warned the DC at an event jointly hosted by the Tanzania Horticultural Association (TAHA) and TRIAS.
The District Commissioner further commended TAHA for complimenting the government’s efforts in building key infrastructure critical to unleashing the potential of the agriculture sector.
TAHA Acting CEO Anthony Chamanga for his part informed the district commissioner that the association would strive to ensure that women and the youth continue reaping the benefits of the sector. Horticulture is a fast-growing sector in Tanzanian agriculture.
It is growing at a rate of 11 per cent per annum compared to a 4 per cent growth in the overall agriculture sector. Because of the availability of both tropical and temperate climates along with different altitudes and temperatures, Tanzania grows a very wide variety of fruits and vegetables.
However, Tanzania’s horticulture sector suffers from many challenges such as low and unequal capacities in quality management and production techniques, low produce quality and safety assurance, inadequate financial services, unreliable transport and electricity supply, and high postharvest losses.