The story of Jacqueline (TAHA)
'Now is the time to invest'
Jacqueline Mkindi is CEO of the Tanzanian Horticultural Association which represents 25,000 growers throughout the country. Its goal is to develop and promote the horticultural industry. Now there is real momentum, she urges that this is no time to sit back and relax.
“Tanzania has a lot of potential, especially for horticulture. In our climate we can grow almost anything, and we see a growing political will too. People are becoming more aware of quality, freshness and food safety. Lettuce has been identified as a new possibility and, thanks to tourism and hotels, we have a good target group.”
“Although everything is now coming together, there is still a lot of work to do. I’m talking about improving productivity, but also access to finance, alignment and improving infrastructure. All this will be needed to reach all the little growers. If we do not invest now, we could lose the momentum.”
“It has also motivated us to improve distribution via our commercial branches TAHA Fresh and Fresh 2 Sokoni. In both activities, as well as in TAHA, we see the importance of collaboration. Especially in order to reach all those smallholders, we need the support of big companies – whether exporters, processors, greenhouse constructors or horticultural suppliers – because they have the expertise and scale that we need.”
“Recently I visited Rijk Zwaan in the Netherlands. I saw all the investments, the facilities and the skilled people – I was so inspired! Of course we need better seeds to transform the industry, but there are other changes we need to make too. Rijk Zwaan also showed me the auction in Belgium, as a way to cooperate, and the quality standards that they maintain. Learning from others is very inspiring. As a country we have to open up we could use all the help we can get!”
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