12 January 2013

Tanzania: Taha Benefits From U.S.$ 4 Million USAID Grant

Arusha — The United States of America has pumped $4 million to Tanzania to boost a multi-million-dollars horticultural industry growth.

The grant was provided to Tanzania Horticultural Association (TAHA) through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)'s Feed the Future Initiative.

The grant details seen by The Arusha Times show that the four-year grant aims to develop horticulture sector at the Southern Agriculture Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT).

"The $4 million grant will support TAHA in expanding its membership and services to the SAGCOT, a region identified by the government as having significant potential for local horticultural growing" reads part of the statement.

TAHA Executive Director, Jacqueline Mkindi. She has played a crucial role in the development of the horticulture industry.

As an active partner with SAGCOT, TAHA committed to implementing inclusive and sustainable horticulture in the SAGCOT region.

This commitment was part of the New Alliance for Agriculture and Nutrition launch at the G8 summit in Washington, DC in May, 2012.

It is anticipated that with the help of the USAID grant, TAHA will be able to increase its staff by 50 percent and double the number of smallholder farmers that it represents.

Currently, TAHA with its base in Arusha, has 212 member-companies representing about 10,000 smallholder farmers.

The grant comes as part of USAID's Feed the Future Initiative, which aims to reduce poverty in Tanzania by targeting key areas of the agriculture sector.

"The Feed the Future Initiative benefits smallholder farmers and their families through horticulture development programs. As a USAID partner, TAHA will play a key role with Feed the Future" reads the press release issued by U.S.A embassy in Dar-es-salaam.

It is understood that since 2004, TAHA has provided technical support, market analysis, and political advocacy services to a wide range of Tanzanian businesses in the Horticulture sector.

TAHA Executive Director, Jacqueline Mkindi said as a result in recent years, the horticulture industry has seen 8-10 percent increases in growth, making it the fastest-growing sub-sector of the national economy.

"TAHA has played a crucial role in representing this $350 million industry by providing technical guidance to farmers, advocating for policy changes, and promoting horticulture products locally and abroad" Ms Mkindi explained.

Representing its member organizations, TAHA successfully campaigned for numerous policy changes that have increased business for large and small horticulture operations.

Recently, TAHA played a crucial role in persuading the government to waive the 18 percent VAT placed on airfreight for horticulture goods, allowing Tanzanian businesses to become more competitive while increasing their earnings.

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