Farmers urged to venture into horticulture for EAC market

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Farmers urged to venture into horticulture for EAC market
Farmers urged to venture into horticulture for EAC market

Africa-PressTanzania. SMALL and Medium Industrial Development Agency (SMIDA) has motivated farmers to cultivate horticultural crops since the produce has high demand in the East African market.

Director General of the SMIDA, Mr Abdulhamid Haji Idrissa, said there was a need for farmers to engage in productive farming and ensure they benefit from the sector.

“It is high time our farmers move ahead and get rid of ‘business as usual’ which has been pulling them back from improving their lives.

Modern farming is beneficial,” Idrissa said here at the stakeholders and small farmers’ engagement meeting on ‘VIUNGO project.’

He urged the small farmers to utilize the opportunities that have come with the project.

The project intends to empower farmers to produce quality vegetables and fruits that can attract buyers in the Isles and in the East African region because the demand for organic farm products is on the increase.

The VIUNGO project manager (Unguja Island) Ms Khadija Ali Juma said the project aims at reaching out to more than 57,000 beneficiaries out of which 5,000 will have access to loans for farming vegetables and fruits.

“We are motivating the small farmers including youth and women to register for the program which include training in demonstration farms to acquire techniques for practicing agri-business along with food security and nutrition,” Ms Juma said.

Mr Tahir Mussa Ahmad from TANTRADE said despite some few existing challenges facing farmers in the country they have been encouraging farmers to produce quality farm products and enhance the value chain in support of the industrialization agenda.”

The VIUNGO project is being implemented by the Community Forest Pemba (CFP), Tanzania Media Women Association (TAMWA), and the Peoples’ Development Forum (PDF) in selected areas of Zanzibar (Unguja and Pemba) and mainland.

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