US body gives 235m/- to support horticulture

The United States African Development Foundation has released a 235m/- package to help local entrepreneurs dealing in horticulture, as it seeks to boost the industry’s growth.

The grant to the Home Veg Tanzania, an Arusha-based medium scale firm, will be used to build a large horticultural products pack house in Arusha, commission study on the local horticultural market and capacity building for the company’s management team.

Details show that the 160m/- spacious warehouse will contain grading, packing, and cold storage facilities with the capacity to store nearly 50 tonnes of horticultural produce destined to European market at ago.

The Foundation’s president and CEO, Ms Shari Berenbach, was in Arusha over the weekend to lay the foundation stone to the crucial storage facility at Kikwe Village in Arumeru District, Arusha Region.

“Our interest is to create economic opportunities not for the few, but for many people. And having seen the Home Veg’s clear sense of business strategy; I can see a win-win situation for us, entrepreneurs and farmers at large,” Ms Berenbach said.

The president, who was in Tanzania for the first time, termed the country as a ‘land of opportunity’ for entrepreneurs and farmers to grow in leaps and bounds.

Home Veg Tanzania’s managing director Mussa Mvungi said his firm, founded in 2009, builds capacity for horticultural small growers to produce at the global good agricultural practices standards.

He said they also purchase the entire horticultural produces from nearly 2,000 growers under their 11 groups, for export to Europe.

“We entirely depend on smallholder farmers to supply the horticultural produce for our market,” he explained.

A beneficiary, Mr Joshua Kaaya, said his life has changed a lot since he started trading with the firm.

According to Mr Kaaya who lives in Mbuguni village, this season he was able to harvest four tonnes of green beans worth 2.7m/-, up from merely four tins of maize valued at 60,000/- a year.
Source: The Citizen, reported by Adam Ihucha from Arusha, Tanzania

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