HORTICULTURAL exports surged 12 times in the last five years, becoming a leading subsector that drives agricultural sector growth.
The subsector exports value surged to 779 million US dollars last year, up from 64 million US dollars in 2004, according to Tanzania Horticultural Association (TAHA).
TAHA Business Environment Manager, Kelvin Remen told the ‘Daily News’ that foreign direct investment has played a very significant role in increasing growth of the horticulture industry by importing technological and expertise.
Speaking at the ongoing 27th NaneNane agricultural exhibitions in Bariadi, Simiyu Region, he said as more private investors join the industry, growth will continue to surge.
Mr Remen said every year the horticultural farmers improve and increase productivity, thus getting better and more produce with available markets locally and abroad.
TAHA is an apex private sector member based organization that advocates for the growth and competitiveness of the horticultural industry in Tanzania.
It safeguards the interests of the private sector and ensures the industry’s issues are well mainstreamed at the national and international agenda.
Since its inception in 2004, TAHA has acted as a voicing platform for producers, traders, exporters and processors of horticultural products.
According to him, TAHA experts offer extension services, training on nutrition and quality control to farmers.
He further said that they also avail market information to growers and sensitize them on best practices to improve productivity. Horticultural crops grown in Tanzania include flowers, vegetables, fruits and spices.
On July 2020, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Mr Hussein Bashe, said the government will revive the leading horticulture estate on the southern slopes of Mount Meru in Arusha.
Mr Bashe said the move will bolster horticultural production and realize its annual export value from the current $779 million to $3billion come 2025.
Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office responsible for Investments, Ms Angellah Kairuki, said that the government was reviewing national investment laws and regulations to accommodate and reflect the current situation, as part of measures to create a conducive environment for investments.
“In the 2020/21 budget, we have scrapped several fees and levies totalling to 60, in our efforts to improve the business environment in the agriculture sector. We hope this tax relief will translate into the competitiveness of our commodities,” said Ms Kairuki.
TAHA has a total of 705 members, categorized into three groups, whereby 46 are comprehensive members who include large producers, exporters and processors of horticultural related products.
Sixty seven allied members include suppliers of agro-inputs and other service providers in the industry including but not limited to development projects, financial and credit providers, consultancy companies and business development service providers.