Horticulture body eyes southern TZ

Tanzania Horticultural Association plans to open office in Mbeya Region in its latest efforts to unlock the horticultural potential in the southern highlands.

Taha board chairman Colman Ngallo informed 40 civic leaders from Mbeya District Council who were on official tour in Arusha, to learn about modern horticultural farming,and that plans are underway to bring the association’s services close to them. 

“We want to make President Jakaya Kikwete’s dream of transforming this area into a horticultural giant into a reality,” Mr Ngallo said on Monday.

Taha chief was optimistic that since Songwe international airport has now been opened, the southern zone now has all it takes to become the major exporter of horticultural products.

Mbeya Rural District council vice chairman Mwalingo Kisemba said that there were already farmers involved in subsistence horticultural farming, but they were keen to commercialise their undertakings. 

“We need Taha to support us to take this lucrative horticultural farming to the next level in a bid to stimulate the economy,” Mr Kisemba said.

 Precisely, he said, the farmers needed to be taught on the best horticultural farming practices, to be linked to the international markets and meet markets requirements.

Mbeya Rural District alone has about 16,072 hectares suitable for horticultural farming, Mr Kisemba said, adding that with the Taha expertise, they hope they would be productive.

Taha executive director, Ms Jacqueline Mkindi, told the delegation that if the farmers would embrace good agronomy practices, they would be able to bolster their production from 10 bags of onions per acre to 200 bags. 

Ms Mkindi said that southern highlands is now at the heart of Taha’s strategic plan that, among others, targets to boost the fresh produce volume for domestic and exports markets.
Source: The Citizen, reported by Adams Ihucha, from Arusha, Tanzania

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