Massive boost for  horticulture sector

Massive boost for horticulture sector

THE government has commended horticultural champion TAHA and UNDP for setting up a pioneer ultra-modern National centre of excellence for horticulture, a massive boost to the high-flying sector.

The state-of-the-art national centre of excellence for horticulture is part of TAHA, UNDP, Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) TRIAS, Ricolto among other key players’ grand strategies to unlock the multimillion-dollar industry.

Currently, horticulture earns the economy $779 million (1.8tri/-) annually, up from $100 million (230.3bn/-) in 2004, making the industry a nascent venture to watch in terms of creating jobs, wealth, and health.

Inaugurating the Tengeru horticulture farmer’s services centre of excellence (CoE) in Arumeru District in the Arusha region, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Mr Hussein Bashe poured praises to TAHA and UNDP for truly complimenting the government’s efforts in building key infrastructures critical to unleashing the potential of the agriculture sector.

“I take this opportunity to congratulate TAHA, UNDP and urge development partners to emulate the spirit to enable the farmers meet the market requirements,” Mr Bashe explained.

He asked TAHA and UNDP to ensure that the centre is equipped with hi-end lab technologies so that extensive research could be carried out for producing high-yielding varieties of fruits and vegetables.

“This Centre of excellence must have high tech poly-house for vegetable nursery and a high-tech nursery for fruits to help farmers to maximize their profit” Mr Bashe noted.

TAHA Group CEO, Dr Jacqueline Mkindi said the centre also has a mobile cold refrigerator, the first facility of its kind in the country, courtesy of Brunel University London and Centre for sustainable energy use in food chains, with a capacity to offer cold chain management for perishable crops from farm gate to the packhouse, potentially reducing a post-harvest loss.

“Our strategy is to unleash the full potential of horticulture. It’s our conviction that horticulture has the potential to turn around the country’s economy and drive the majority of youths from abject poverty to a promised land of milk and honey” said TAHA Chairman, Engineer Zebadiah Moshi.

UNDP Resident Representative, Ms Christine Musisi said that in a year or two, she expects to see tangible results of the centre evident through exponentially higher yields of quality products in the country, increased exports of horticultural products with clarity on the country of origin, improved nutrition nationwide and true economic empowerment of a critical mass of smallholder farmers in Tanzania, particularly women and youth.

“This centre is a celebration of our partnership and efforts in transforming the horticulture industry in Tanzania. For us UNDP and TAHA, the hub means to bring prosperity, especially for smallholder farmers – youth and women – with sustainable gains for the nation as a whole” UNDP boss noted.

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