Mbeya to host horticultural sector forum

ABOUT 400 farmers and local and foreign investors are expected in Mbeya Region next week for a two-day horticultural forum organized to promote investment opportunities in the agricultural sector.

The forum organized Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) in collaboration with the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT).

About 400 local and foreign participants, including those from Italy, Belgium, Finland, Netherlands, South Africa, German, Israel and Malawi have already confirmed to attend, TIC Executive Director, Mr Geoffrey Mwambe said in Dar es Salaam yesterday.

Horticulture sector, which earned the country 764 million US dollars in 2017 up from 64 million US dollars in 2005, has great potential to transform the economy, he said.

“We believe that the sector can bring more tremendous changes in the economy of the country as well as transforming the producers’ living standard,” he said.

The forum is also aimed at adding value to horticulture products as local participants are going to learn from those in developed countries on how best to run the business in the sector, said Mr Mwambe.

It was further noted that local investors will have an opportunities to learn, especially on how to use modern technology in areas of farming, processing, storage, markets search and access well as transportation of horticulture products.

TIC has already talked with other relevant authorities to make available piece of investment lands for investors who will be attracted to invest in Tanzania, he said. Potential investors will be informed more, on the opportunities during the forum.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), for SAGCOT, Geoffrey Kirenga reiterated that the sector can bring about enormous changes as it is the case in Kenya where horticulture contribute between 1.5 billion US dollars to 3.0 billion of foreign currencies, annually.

He said it was important for local participants to forum to learn from the experience of established businesses in the sector.

The CEO said that Tanzania was on good position to improve horticulture sector following remarkable improvements in transportation infrastructures.

“Developments are almost everywhere, be it on road, railway, water and airways. Tanzanians, mostly those in Southern and Northern Highlands are on good position to benefit with horticulture farming due to supportive weather conditions in their regions,” he said.

Meanwhile, TIC Director announced another a-two day Cashewnut Forum to take place in Mtwara Region next month to promote investment opportunities in the cashew value chain.

Investors from China, Egypt and Netherlands have already shown an interest to invest in industrial parks in Mtwara region, he said. “We are aware that the whole cashewnut fruit has lot of benefits.

It can bring juice, wine, lubricants, and foods for livestock among other benefits. All those areas need investors,” he said.

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