TANZANIA – The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has approved a US$2.5 million grant to support small-scale farmers and revitalize the horticultural sector in Tanzania.

The grant is set to benefit approximately 10,000 small-scale fresh produce businesses in the country.

The project, as outlined in the press release issued by AfDB, aims to concentrate its efforts on enhancing five key value chains: spices such as cloves, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, and garlic; tomatoes; peas; green beans; and potatoes.

Notably, the grant will be drawn from the Global Agriculture & Food Security Program and will primarily focus on supporting food system service providers in Tanzania’s rural areas.

According to AFDB, the initiative is part of its core objectives to boost the production and marketing of horticultural products, mitigating the post-COVID-19 pandemic impacts on the agriculture sector.

In addition, the program will actively promote sustainable and climate-smart agricultural practices and agroecological techniques, all while emphasizing the need for effective management strategies that address biodiversity and landscape concerns.

“The project will be executed in four key regions within Tanzania. These regions include the rural district of Morogoro, Mvomero district in Morogoro region, Wanging’ombe district in Njombe region, and Kaskazini ‘A’ and ‘B’ districts in Unguja, Zanzibar,” AFDB noted.

To minimize post-harvest losses and enhance the overall quality of produce, the initiative also plans to establish at least five climate-resilient facilities designed for sorting, classification, bulk packing, packaging, and storage.

Furthermore, a multi-purpose, climate-resilient processing facility for spices will be developed in the Morogoro district, thereby boosting the processing capacity of spices for local and regional markets.

According to recent data from Statista Spices in addition to salt generated a US$206.80 million revenue in 2023, with a projected annual growth rate of 8.70% (CAGR 2023-2028).

However, despite the evident potential of the spice industry, a report from Tanzania’s Institutional repository highlighted that smallholder farmers have struggled to derive adequate benefits from direct sales to retailers or consumers.

“Most spice farmers trade in unorganized spice businesses, have limited market access of their products, and unsatisfactory market participation; They thus trade their spices through channels like middlemen (intermediaries).”

In addition to the spice market, Statista revealed that the Tanzanian Fruits and Vegetables Market is also experiencing substantial growth.

In another report, the market size is projected to increase from US42.04 billion in 2023 to US$2.80 billion by 2028, at a CAGR of 6.50% during the forecast period (2023-2028).

Factors contributing to this growth include the rising demand for derived products like fruit juices and jams, as well as increased consumer awareness of healthier alternatives in the form of fruits and vegetables.