TANZANIA Horticulture Association (TAHA) is targeting exports of over two billion US dollars (over 5tri/-) in the next five years.
Briefing reporters here on the achievements that the association has attained in recent years and its contribution to the national economy, TAHA Chief Executive Officer Jackline Mkindi said the sector was growing at an impressive pace.
She was confident that the horticultural industry was also poised to create employment to over 10 million people in the same period with 65 per cent of labour in entire value chain being grabbed by women.
According to Ms Mkindi whose entity is among over 300 participants in this year’s Nanenane show here, TAHA has grown tremendously for the last 13 years when it used to export around 60 million dollars to 700 million US dollars (about 1.6tri/-) last year.
“The horticulture industry is growing so rapidly and we anticipate more economic contribution as we implement our five year’s strategic plan and our ambition is to earn over two billion dollars,” she said.
Having operating for many years in the Eastern regions of the country, TAHA now looks to expand wings to the Lake Zone, having opened offices in Mwanza in 2017 and now in Simiyu since last year.
With over 25,000 small holder farmers countrywide, TAHA eyes the Lake Zone as a big potential in the near future and has increased participation to both Mwanza and Simiyu Nanenane shows for the last two years.
“So we have participated strategically for networking and sharing opportunities to increase awareness among the farmers and general public on the importance of this sector to the economy,” she said.
Ms Mkindi appealed to the government for increased efforts in harmonising regulatory authorities to reduce uncalled for bureaucracy.
The CEO was of the view that more harmonisation was crucial for the entities to operate under one roof as the state revisits taxation systems to pave way for the private sector to be more tax compliant.
She said TAHA was supporting government strategies to reduce post harvest losses on crops by introducing crop production calendar that will be instrumental in observing market demands.
Ms Mkindi challenged the government standards and quality watchdogs to monitor business trend of horticulture products in domestic and international markets as well as impose heavy penalties on unfair competitors.