The United Republic of Tanzania

TANZANIA INVESTMENT CENTRE



Investors are invited to invest in agro-processing in horticulture subsector in Tanzania Southern Highland to tape regional and international markets .


Tanzania Investment Centre has been applauded for holding the first International horticulture Investment convention which was held recently for two days in Mbeya, Tughimbe Hotel. The convention was organized by Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) in collaboration with Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) and Tanzania Horticulture Association (TAHA). The convention was blessed by Regional Commissioners from the Highland regions which includes Mbeya, Songwe, Iringa, Rukwa, Njombe, Ruvuma and Katavi regions. The aim of the convention was to promote investment in the horticulture value chain at the Southern Highland Zone. Participants included more than 400 from Tanzania, Kenya, Belgium, India, Finland, Netherlands, South Africa and Malawi.

 

The forum which was held for two days was concluded by the Minister of State responsible for investment in the Prime Minister's Office Hon. Angellah Kairuki. During her speech she said that, ‘horticulture sub-sector is a source of country’s foreign currency where in 2005 it contributed about $ 64 million and US $ 764 in 2017. The sector also employs various Tanzanian cadres especially young and women about 4.5 million people’. Furthermore Hon. Kairuki said that the subsector grows rapidly from 11 to 12 per year and the products in this sector are short-lived between 30-52 days. All of these are good signals for the government to undertake horticulture promotion in Tanzania to encourage more citizens to participate in the sector. Additional, Hon. Kairuki assured the stakeholders that, the Government works on the challenges identified specifically poor infrastructures, access to loan, cold storage facilities which have been a major challenge. Finally, she invited investors to consider and take advantages/ opportunities to invest in the value chain of horticulture in the Southern Highland due to favorable investment climate and opportunities. The investors with interest to invest in Southern Highland will be assisted to acquire land permits, licenses and certificates through TIC.

 

In his remarks, the Deputy Ministers for Works, Transport and Communication Hon. Atashasta Nditiye said that, Tanzania is not the only country producing vegetables and fruits worldwide. There is a need to have good infrastructures so as to attract many player at the same time enable them to benefit. Responding on the challenges presented, Hon. Nditiye said that it is required a greater degree of partnership between public and private actors across the horticulture industry. The government is implementing supportive plans specifically on infrastructures to eliminate the challenges which hinder development of the sector. The said infrastructure includes roads, airports, ports, railways and cold storage facilities. This will support and enable products to reach the local and international markets while are in good/fresh condition.

 

In his welcome remarks, the Executive Director of TIC, Geoffrey Mwambe said that TIC, SAGCOT, TAHA and Mbeya Regional Office coordinated the forum in the Southern Highland basically due to numerous existing strengths and increasing demand for organic fruits worldwide. These include favorable, diverse climatic conditions that allow for cultivation of wide range of horticulture products, wide access to water, emerging of new and high growth export markets where Tanzania is well positioned. Therefore, the convention was organized to influence more investment in agro processing by attracting new investors and encourage existing investors to expand their investments in horticulture sector particularly in the Southern Highland. Furthermore, Mwambe said that investment in horticulture industry may expand economic opportunities for Tanzanians and contribute significantly to poverty reduction. ‘Horticulture can be a profitable option for Tanzanian farmers to lift themselves from the cycle of poverty’. Investment opportunities in horticulture subsector exist in value chain (agriculture, seedling, food processing, collection/ distribution points, distribution and storage, development of market chains, packaging, branding, labeling, cold chains (storage facilities, trucks, pack house, etc))

 

Speaking on behalf of the private sector, the CEO of TAHA Jacqueline Mkindi said that, market for the horticulture products from Tanzania is huge worldwide. The Southern Highland is among of the best areas suitable for horticulture investment however, poor or non-existent infrastructures hinder the development of the horticulture sector. The government should continue to create a more conducive business environment (improve infrastructures roads, seaports, cargo freights, access to finance, power supply and construction of cold chain infrastructure), provide supportive policies and sensitize farmers, local and Foreign Direct Investments to venture in the horticulture sub-sector.  She concluded that, deliberate support is needed to facilitate stakeholders particularly farmers; both smallholder and large-scale and marketing institutions to exploit the available and potential opportunities in domestic, regional and international markets.

 

Finally,  all stakeholders should work together to support  the sector so as to expand production, improve product quality, productivity and should as well facilitate availability of land, equipment, suitable low cost technology, affordable financing, supply of quality planting materials, and adequate extension services to enable the country to tape regional and international markets which are readily available for our products.









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