THE horticultural industry is heading for a giant leap as stakeholders from East and Southern Africa will converge in Dar es Salaam next month to deliberate joint efforts to exploit existing market opportunities.
After almost 14 years of existence, the apex body that deals with horticulture issues, Tanzania Horticulture Association (TAHA), is steering the nation to success for its impressive record of producing high volumes of products such as vegetables, flowers and garlic in the world.
TAHA Director General Ms Jaqueline Mkindi (pictured) said in Arusha on Wednesday that in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture her association has organised a conference that will attract about 400 businesspersons to discuss how to steer cross-border trade.
“We are currently preparing a big conference set for December 5 in Dar es Salaam that will attract about 400 stakeholders from the East African Community (EAC) partner states as well as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to remove all barriers in trade so that we can produce and transport more goods,” said Ms Mkindi.
Horticulture is one of subsectors that witnesses rapid growth in the country. The sales have gone up from 947.6bn/- (412m US dollars) in 2015 to 1.7tri/- (779m Us dollar) in the financial year 2018/19. Now, TAHA is seeking to enhance cold chain management and transport logistics to mitigate post-harvest losses.
“Members of the meeting will get the opportunity to meet big horticultural stakeholders from the EAC and SADC, share experiences in different issues between the public and private sectors in order to attract investment and create symmetrical integration between the horticultural sector and others in business zones of East and Southern Africa,” said Ms Mkindi.
The meeting, dubbed ‘Regional Horticultural Trade and Investment Forum’, will be seeking to speed up unlocking opportunities for horticultural products in regional and international markets, she said.
She explained that TAHA has been assured of participation in the meeting of members from Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Comoro and Malawi.
She called upon producers, processors as well as businesspersons and transporters to show up for the great event so as to learn and tap more opportunities to benefit them as individuals or as companies in order to raise the sub-sector to next level.
Citing avocado as the flagship product in the sub-sector, Ms Mkindi said that markets have opened up, many new orders have been placed after the Covid-19 pandemic stint and that more research is needed to see the sector flourishes even more.