Dar es Salaam — The Agriculture Fast Track Fund (AFT) last week awarded two grants totaling $600,000 to two agribusiness firms. AFT is part of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group Tanga Fresh UHT Milk Factory and Kijani Agro Integrated Horticulture were selected, because of their strong impact on local communities in Tanzania.
The money is to go towards financing market analyses and produce site surveys among other activities.
According to a Fund statement, Tanga Fresh UHT Milk Factory will receive grants worth $150,500 to expand its production capacity in order to maintain the milk supply throughout the dry season.
'Tanga Fresh in Tanzania will focus on developing an implementation strategy for improving milk quality,' the statement reads in part.
Tanga Fresh wants to expand the sales of its Long Life UHT milk to other cities besides Dar Es Salaam by involving at least 13,000 smallholders.
The company also plans to provide a safe and healthy source of calcium and protein to communities living far inland where imported UHT milk is not available.
Kijani Agro Integrated Horticulture is to get $490,000 for producing a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables in high tech irrigated tunnel houses and open-fields in Iringa and Morogoro.
In preparation, Kijani is to conduct an independent study on the horticulture market in Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa.
Kijani Agro is planning to have 3,000 smallholders benefitting from the project, 60% of them women.
The company has a training program to ensure that local farmers adopt rigorous standards for environmental and social practices.
According to the statement, 'The positive local impact pursued by the two projects in Tanzania falls in line with the AFT's mandate to boost agriculture infrastructure in Africa'.
Tanzania is one of the six first pilot countries along with Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mozambique and Ethiopia to try out AFT support.
Tanzania, is part of the New Alliance For Food Security and Nutrition in Africa, a coalition of Africans states committed to a Cooperation Framework for Food Security on the continent.
The AFT contributes to better food security in Africa by helping to improve the infrastructure for agriculture.
Recently, AFT awarded two grants worth almost $1.5 million to high value agriculture infrastructure projects in Mozambique.