No dull moment for the Embassy team: Brainstorming sessions in Arusha

Tanzania is a country with a rich agricultural heritage, and the potato and avocado sectors play an important role in the country's economy and food security. However, there are many challenges these sectors facing, including issues related to seed quality and agrologistics. To address these challenges, several brainstorming sessions were held in Arusha in the second week of March 2023, bringing together stakeholders from across the sectors to discuss solutions and strategies for a more sustainable and efficient potato and avocado industry and to discuss the latest developments in agrologistics in Tanzania.

The brainstorming sessions were organized by the Embassy in collaboration with Tanzania Horticultural Sector Association (TAHA) and the Tanzanian Ministry of Agriculture attended by a range of stakeholders, including farmers, researchers, government officials, and representatives (including Dutch) from the private sector.

Brainstorming sessions in Arusha 1

One of the key issues discussed at the sessions was the importance of high-quality seeds for potato production. The use of low-quality seeds can result in poor yields, disease outbreaks, and reduced profitability for farmers. To address these challenges, participants discussed the importance of promoting the use of certified seeds and strengthening regulatory process along the registration of seed potatoes varieties.

Investment on the required infrastructures for seed potato multiplication was also emphasized. It was noted the current demand for the seed potato is not matched with the multiplication capacity. It is estimated that annual demand of certified seed potato stands at 230,000 tons while estimated seed availability stand at only 10% which calls for the immediate need for a mechanism to strengthen multiplication capacity of certified seed potato varieties demanded by the farmers.   

The brainstorming session featured presentation from potato breeders, researchers, and seed multipliers, who shared their experiences and best practices for producing and distributing high-quality seeds to farmers.

Brainstorming sessions in Arusha

Another important topic of discussion was the need for efficient agrologistics for the export of perishable goods, including potatoes and avocados. The transport and storage of perishable crops such as potatoes and avocados can be challenging, particularly in rural areas with limited infrastructure. To address these challenges, participants discussed the importance of investing in cold storage facilities, improving transportation networks, and promoting better coordination between farmers, transporters, and buyers.

The event featured presentation on comparative assessment on perishables by Amani Temu from Tanzania Horticulture Association ( TAHA). The study provided an overview of the areas to strengthen especially on supply chain management and the gateways for a competitive horticultural sector in Tanzania.

Brainstorming sessions in Arusha

There was also a separate brainstorming session focused on the avocado value chain, with presentation of a preliminary findings on Avocado Value Chain Mapping exercise that aimed to identify opportunities for improving the efficiency and profitability of the sector focusing on digitalization and traceability. Through discussions and interactive sessions, participants were able to identify key bottlenecks and opportunities for improvement in the value chain, including issues related to production, coordination, financing, and markets. The final study findings are expected in July this year, which will be followed by an online match making event between the solution providers (Agritech) and potential clients such farmers, transporters, and service providers along the avocado value chain.

More information

To contribute and for more information about the avocado value chain mapping study: Digitalization and Traceability, contact Techforce via Alex Praag

Useful links

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