TechnoServe unlocks tourism market for food processors

A NUMBER of local food processors have a reason to smile, thanks to TechnoServe Tanzania, for linking them with the multi-billion-dollars tourism industry to supply fresh and nutritious food to the market.

Tourism industry in Tanzania earns the economy 2.6 billion US dollars annually, but the booming business has locked out the local food processors over what it has been termed as lack of direct communication channels and inefficiencies in the supply chain.

Seeking to unlock the potential, TechnoServe Tanzania through the USAID bankrolled Alliance for Inclusive and Nutritious Food Processing Project (AINFP) organised a Business-to-Business forum in Arusha, recently brought together food processors, tourism and hospitality captains, as well as financial institutions.

Indeed, the one-day Arusha B2B forum ended on a high note, as it witnessed a total of 16 deals sealed between the food processors and suppliers like hotels, a move that is expected to bring higher returns to small and medium scale food processors.

“Linking food processors, suppliers, bankers and tourism industry captains, under one roof, was an apt idea to unlock tourism market potential and finance access for local food processors who intend to scale-up production,” said a peanut butter processor from Arusha, Ms Grace Macha.

Ms Macha poured a lot of praises to AINFP model, saying it has a significant potential to help reduce poverty in Tanzania, as it brings key hospitality industry captains to forge pro-poor partnerships with food processors to purchase their products.

Tourism is a notable source of income for Tanzania. On average, international tourists stay about 10 days in the country, spending a total of 1,691 US dollars per visitor, UNCTAD report shows.

The Chief Executive Officer for Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO), Mr Sirili Akko said that the lodging, food and beverage sub-sectors together account for about 20 per cent of annual 2.6 billion US dollars tourism-related income in the country.

“Foreign tourists surging in the country offers a massive opportunity for agricultural products as are in high demand by tourists and often provide price-premiums” Mr Akko told the forum held in Arusha.

However, TATO CEO said that there had been a domestic challenge of quality and consistency of supplies, prompting large companies to import high-quality poultry, cheese, beef among others, to feed their clients.

Tanzania AINFP Programme Manager, Ms Gertrude Kawau was overwhelmed to see the 16 marketing agreements signed between the food processors and the suppliers for supply of different nutritious products such as dairy products, sauces, jams, refined sunflower oil, refined groundnuts oils, wheat flour, fortified maize flour and pollard.

Besides the deals, the AINFP’s B2B forum also unlocked finance access as USAID’s Farmer-to-Farmer Programme director, Mr Amos Mkezwa pledged to facilitate food processors to access funding opportunities for both investment and working capital through collaborating with different financial institutions.

The food processors from northern zone such as Asili Dairy, Moshono Millers, Sivat Agribusiness, Just Bakery and GFPL have expressed interest to access the agribusiness funding opportunity through F2F/AINFP collaborations.

The Alliance for Inclusive and Nutritious Food Processing (AINFP) is a partnership between USAID, TechnoServe, and Partners in Food Solutions (PFS) that aims to create a more competitive food-processing sector.

TechnoServe, the implementing partner, works with enterprising people in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses and industries.

It is a non-profit organisation that develops business solutions to poverty by linking people to information, capital and markets.

TechnoServe’s work is rooted in the idea that given the opportunity, hardworking men and women in even the poorest places can generate income, jobs and wealth for their families and communities.

With more than four decades of proven results, TecnoServe believes in the power of private enterprise to transform lives.

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