$24m USAID project eyes to unlock Tanzania’s hidden potential for horticulture

The ambitious project, which TAHA will execute, promises to become a game changer for thousands of small-scale farmers

SATURDAY September 9, 2023

The Mission Director for USAID Tanzania, Mr Craig Hart (Second Right) along with TAHA Chief Development Manager, Mr Anthony Chamanga (Third Right) and TAHA Business Environment Manager, Mr Kelvin Remen (First Right), address the Tanzania President, Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan (First Left), well before a $24 million new project was unveiled during Nane Nane Fair in Mbeya Region, Tanzania. PHOTO | COURTESY

By Adam Ihucha

The Tranquility News Correspondent, Tanzania

The US and the Tanzania governments have rolled out a new multi-million-dollar food security initiative dubbed Tuhifadhi Chakula (let’s preserve food).

The Tanzania Horticulture Association (TAHA) will, in partnership with the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) Center, implement the $24-million initiative unveiled at the climax of Nane Nane Agricultural Fair in Mbeya, Tanzania.

The five-year Tuhifadhi Chakula project, which target reducing food loss and wastage, is billed to increase food security, improve livelihoods, raise employment rate, and generate export opportunities for Tanzania – especially among women and youth.

Between 40 and 50 per cent of crops are lost between the field and the end market in the East African country. The Tuhifadhi Chakula project will work with farmers, traders, processors, and other actors in the value chain to cut food loss and wastage by half.

The project jointly designed with the country’s Ministry of Agriculture aligns with its National Post-Harvest Management Strategy. It will initially operate in Arusha, Mbeya, Morogoro, Njombe, Pwani and Tanga regions in Tanzania Mainland as well as in Zanzibar.

The former Mission Director for USAID Tanzania, Ms Veeraya Kate Somvongsiri, admires tomatoes when she visited some horticultural farmers in Arusha during her tenure in the country. PHOTOS | FILE

“Today, we celebrate Tanzania’s significant strides in agriculture, livestock, and fisheries sectors,” said Mission Director for USAID Tanzania Craig Hart during the Nane Nane show in Mbeya, adding:

Kilimo ni uti wa mgongo (agriculture is the backbone), together, with determination and perseverance, we can navigate the pathway to a more promising and sustainable future.”

While in Mbeya, Mr Hart visited several USAID Feed the Future Project sites, including Kilimo Tija (productive agriculture) and activities of the Private Sector Strengthening and the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa.

All these activities focus on agriculture-led growth by strengthening the private sector; promoting improved technologies, practices, and inputs; bolstering horticulture and facilitating its value addition.

Recently, Tanzania received a renewed designation as a Feed the Future focus country. During her June visit to the country, the USAID Administrator, Ms Samantha Power, reaffirmed robust partnership between the US and the Tanzania governments in food security and nutrition, poverty reduction, and agricultural growth.

The USAID global Administrator, Ms Samantha Power (First Left), reaffirms robust partnership between the US and the Tanzania governments earlier this year as the Tanzania Horticulture Association Chief Executive Officer, Dr Jacqueline Mkindi, looks on.

Mr Hart, the newly appointed Mission Director for USAID Tanzania, also expressed his appreciation for the long-standing and fruitful bilateral ties between the two countries when he met the Tanzania’s Minister for Agriculture, Mr Hussein Bashe, at the Nane Nane fair in Mbeya.

“This is a defining moment, the new USAID project — the biggest ever — is a substantial leap for Tanzania’s efforts to shift from conventional subsistence to commercial farming,” said the TAHA CEO, Dr Jacqueline Mkindi.

Dr Mkindi believes the project will succeed in enticing youth and women to effectively engage in fighting against poverty through the agricultural sector,” said.

She explained that the ambitious project specifically intended to support over 370,000 youth and 279,000 women in venturing into agri-business, including engaging in high-value crops production, processing and marketing for them to reap windfall incomes.

“So, the new project will see massive climate-smart agricultural technologies adopted, jobs and incomes for smallholder farmers increased, and agricultural exports more than doubled,” Dr Mkindi saidΩ

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