Project to unlock horticulture’s potential

A 61bn/-(€250,000 million) initiative is set to address the knowledge gap in the horticulture sector.

Implemented by 10 Dutch horticulture companies with the Arusha Technical College (ATC) and the Horticultural Research and Training Institute Tengeru, the five-year Northern Highlands Education Programme (NOHIED) project seeks to address challenges that have marred the fast-growing sector in Tanzanian agriculture.

Ms Linda Maat from the Hanze University of Applied Sciences in The Netherlands said the initiative would address challenges that international companies encounter while hunting for well-trained staff members.

“Such companies have failed to hire staff with prerequisite knowledge and expertise, this project will help address that,” she said here recently.

Ms Maat further noted that the project will spare technical and vocational education and training (TVET) scholars the hassle of looking for jobs upon graduation.

“It will also enhance professional network between Dutch TVET colleges, horticulture companies and Tanzania expertise centres,” she added.

The country’s horticultural sector is arguably growing at a faster pace and is on the path to meet the goal of Tanzania Development Vision 2025 to achieve a $3 billion annual export, up from $779 million in 2019.

Currently, Tanzania exports its horticultural produce to Europe, the Middle East, and regional African countries.

However, the sector is suffering from issues like low-quality produce, improper packaging materials, poor traceability systems, unreliable transportation, and high post-harvest losses.

Ambassador of the Netherlands to Tanzania Wiebe de Boer on his part exuded confidence that the project will help students to have a better landing in their workplaces.

He described the deal as another solid partnership between Tanzania and the Netherlands which is on its 50th year now.

“Today we are witnessing a very important part of this cooperation, it is indeed rewarding to see Hanze University working in Tanzania for quite some time now,” added the envoy.

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