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Developing business acumen in horticultural enterprises

The problem

Tanzania’s horticulture sector has been growing at an annual rate of 11% in the last five years. High profit margins and strong demand for processed fruit and vegetable products present opportunities for job creation, poverty reduction and improved prosperity.

Gains in fruit and vegetable production have not been accompanied by improved food processing and marketing capacity, curtailing opportunities to add value to raw produce and create wealth.

Youth unemployment is escalating: every year 800,000 Tanzanians enter the job market to compete for less than 100,000 new jobs. Young women find it markedly more difficult than young men to find employment.

The horticulture sector is dominated by micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) who provide opportunities for gainful employment for women and young people. However, these enterprises are struggling to expand their operations as they lack the management skills, financial records and assets they need to effectively run their business and be eligible for bank loans.

What are we doing?

Since 2019, this project has been working with 30 MSMEs to provide the support they need to evolve into profitable, growing agribusinesses.

From a ketchup manufacturer to a green bean exporter, the project works with a huge diversity of businesses engaged across the horticultural value chain. Project activities will cater to the specific needs of each business, but include:

  • Supporting companies to identify their weaknesses and providing bespoke training in management, financial and technical skills to address capacity gaps.
  • Helping enterprises develop professional business cases and prepare for due diligence processes to support loan applications from banks.
  • Mapping out the players working across horticultural value chains to identify new activities that can make the enterprises a positive return on investment.
  • Facilitating mutually beneficial contracts between farmers, buyers, suppliers and traders.
  • Identifying and tackling the obstacles facing female and youth-led businesses.

Hear how some of these businesses have been supported and experienced growth in the below video and photo gallery.

Thanks to an 18-month extension, Farm Africa is continuing to work with the 30 current SMEs from the first phase of the project, prioritising investment needs and critical areas that can spur business growth. We are also identifying and supporting an additional 15 MSMEs from the Tanzanian horticulture sector following the increasing demand for spices, fruits and vegetables in local and export markets.

Farm Africa will help the SMEs increase their revenue by building their capacity in business management, promoting access to financial services and strengthening market linkages. This extension will increase the project's impact by scaling up successful interventions from the first phase, such as connecting SMEs to local Business Development Service providers as well as observing lessons such as building trust and streamlining the selection process.

Who are we working with?

This project is funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation.