No fewer than 21,000 horticulturists in Zanzibar, Tanzania, are set to benefit from a programme that will serve to improve their overall productivity.
Project Monitoring and Research Manager, Ally Mbarouk, made this disclosure while addressing officers from Unguja West B District Local Administrative Council.
Mbarouk revealed that the €5 million project was funded by the European Union (EU) and targeted at least 21,000 small-scale farmers in 50 shehias (lowest administrative divisions) on both Unguja and Pemba Islands.
The manager noted that following consultation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, Natural Resources and Livestock, smallholder farmers in nine districts, including four in Pemba Islands, had been selected to benefit from the project.
“We need to help the smallholder farmers engaged in horticulture to improve production and quality. This four-year project is co-implemented by Tanzania Media Women Association (TAMWA), Community Forest Pemba (CFP) and the Dar es Salaam based People’s Development Forum (PDF),” he said.
Mbarouk further explained that the project will be instrumental to unleashing the value chain capabilities of Zanzibar’s small-scale horticulture farmers in order to ensure the continuous supply of high-quality produce to both local and international markets.
“Through this project, we also hope to build a network [of relationship] between farmers and stakeholders in farming, improve quality and support the country’s national food security and nutrition programme,” he noted.
Under the project, which is also in response to President Hussein Ali Mwinyi’s determination to promote small traders and entrepreneurship in the country, farmers would be trained on value addition and organic farming.
Also, the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is expected to help promote Zanzibar’s farm products abroad.