In a significant move to support Tanzania’s agricultural sector, the African Development Bank Group has approved a $2.5 million grant aimed at bolstering 10 000 small horticultural businesses in the country. The funding, sanctioned last week, originates from the Global Agriculture & Food Security Programme and is specifically designated to assist food system service providers in rural areas.
The primary objective of this initiative is to enhance the production and marketing of horticultural products, thereby mitigating the adverse impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on the agricultural industry.
The programme will actively promote sustainable and climate-smart agricultural practices, agro-ecological techniques, and management strategies that prioritize biodiversity and landscape preservation. Additionally, it will provide support in the form of climate consultancy services and post-harvest management.
This comprehensive scheme will be rolled out across four regions in Tanzania: the rural district of Morogoro, Mvomero district in Morogoro region, Wanging’ombe district in Njombe region, and Kaskazini A and B districts in Unguja, Zanzibar. The initiative is strategically focused on five key value chains: spices (such as cloves, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, and garlic), tomatoes, peas, green beans, and potatoes.
One of the pivotal components of this project involves the construction of at least five climate-resilient facilities. These facilities will be utilized for sorting, classification, bulk packing, packaging, and storage, with the aim of reducing post-harvest losses.
Furthermore, a versatile, climate-resilient processing facility dedicated to spices will be established in the Morogoro district, enabling the processing of spices for both local consumption and regional markets.
The implementation of this project holds the promise of transforming the landscape for small-scale agricultural operators in Tanzania. By enhancing the efficiency of their agricultural activities, these operators are expected to substantially increase the volume and quality of their produce per unit of surface area.
The long-term ripple effects of this initiative are anticipated to reach far beyond the initial 10 000 businesses, ultimately benefiting a wider spectrum of farmers and communities across the country.
The African Development Bank’s commitment to supporting Tanzania’s agricultural sector underscores the importance of investing in sustainable, climate-smart practices. As the horticultural industry receives a significant boost, the nation’s agricultural communities are poised to thrive, thereby contributing to the overall growth and prosperity of Tanzania.