Home Forums ENHANCING AGRICULTURE Value Addition to Agricultural Products for Rural Economy

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    Agriculture is the backbone of Tanzania’s economy (URT, 2003b). It provides employment to more than three quarters of the population, it accounts for 15% of exports, and contributes almost 27.8% of Tanzania‘s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (URT, 2011). Traditionally, Tanzanian economy is heavily dependent on agriculture, which contributes significant share to the GDP and generates significant amount of the nation’s foreign exchange earnings (MAFS, 2008).

    Agriculture produces raw materials for the agro-processing industries in the country (such as grain mills, plants which make fruit juices and jams, sugar factories, cashewnut factories, coffee hulling plants and coffee roasting and processing factories, textile mills, paper mills, furniture workshops, breweries, tobacco factories).

    Most of the farmers work on subsistence basis and can be pushed easily onto poverty by weather fluctuations (drought or floods), biotic stress and other external shocks notably food price fluctuations. Other challenges include poor access to information, innovations, value added initiatives, improved varieties and good quality seeds. These had caused stagnant growth of agriculture sector in the last decades (growth stood at 4% per year since 2006).

    Cognizant, processing agricultural products to add value is very important if the country want to enjoy from the crops and to make them more readily usable; the factories will provides employment to a substantial number of people (MAFS, 2004).


    • Is there sufficient number of medium scale processing plants?
    • What are the challenges?
    • What are Government initiatives to address the situation?
    • What are your recommendations to address the situation?



    Value addition to agricultural products will transform our peasant’s economy. The price for their crops or produces will increase, and thus, with the little they produce, they will be able to earn significantly meeting their needs. One alternative could be the establishment of processing zone for different produce by the government. Since it is very difficult to attend to each farmer needs, but collective solutions can be designed. With the processing centres established in a particular locality, farmers around could go for the service, pay a little for the processing and thus, they can sell at a higher price, and this way the centre will also be a way to bring close the market to many of such farmers.
    The government through the responsible Institutions like Costech could carry out the technology needs assessment and map out their availability and locality and thus, matching and also exchange of such information could facilitate the value addition to agricultural produces.
    I see it as a way forward



    Thanks Revocatus
    Actually value addition to agricultural commodities will transform our peasant’s economy.
    It is true that the price for their crops will increase and hence there would be some additional income that can would assist them to meet some basic needs.
    There is a need to have a political will to establish small scale processing plants and one important thing is to design a products that will fetch/capture a good market



    Take an example of sweet potato in Tanzania there is possibility "fursa" of establishment Sweet Potato flour milling plant to produce cossettes, or cooked tubers, to be used in making cakes, bread, and drinks The focus should now be placed on processing of new processed products.

    Lets learn from Rwanda
    In late 2012, the Urwibutso agrifood company in Rwanda marketed the first orange-fleshed SP-based biscuits through a collaboration between SP Action for Security and Health in Africa (SASHA) and its partners, including the International Potato Center (CIP) and the Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB). The entire value chain is involved in the biscuit production process: SASHA supplies the SP varieties to RAB, which propagates and distributes them to cooperatives, and farmers then sell their produce to the biscuit manufacturer.




    To me the answer is Yes. Probably the best way to make it necessary is to make all value addition intervention in smallholder groups of farmers, processors and even traders for collective impact. Groups will reduce market information barriers, create collective linkage to the market and create collective bargaining power and access to finance.




    Dear Joel
    I support the above statement with the
    following reasons;
    1. Most of the smallholder farmers (The poorer) are trying to use their
    level best to increase production. Unfortunately they lack
    knowledge of value addition and for areas where farmers try
    to do it, the technologies used are very poor. Due to this
    challenge the middlemen and vendors take opportunity to lower crop price which eventually results to farmers low
    income from their produce.
    2. Poor rural road infrastructure resulting to farmers difficulties to reach processing industries for value addition; Also poor transport facilities (Using ox-cart, head-load and bicycles) for their produce to reach the industry and the market in general; All these challenges results to farmers selling their product in very low price.
    3. Improvement of the poor livelihood while strengthening their capacity on value addition for their produce, without doubt will contribute to boost the economy of the country in general. That is in a nut shed but there is a lot to address to improve smallholds farmers livelihood.
    Marcel Mtei



    This mail from Mlughu Mbughu

    Value addition is inevitable for boosting rural economy and it is very important for all stakeholders to work hard to improve rural people



    To me improving packaging and loan to small-scale producers should be encouraged to upgrade the chain

    Bahati Tarai


    Flano Mambo

    On my side there are things which government at its level can do to improve and add value on agro produces.

    Currently there is a move of instituting a Tanzania Commodity Exchange Market, this is an electronic market where famers can sell their produces worldwide. Its just like a normal mnada but TCX is not limited geographically. Let me give an example. Cashewnuts are being bought by dealers at 4000tsh/kg while the processed cashew can fetch more than $50 in world maret. Now you can see through TCX Tanzania economy will boom just via few commodities assuming there will be proper management. Dear CLKnet collegues this may sound fun but just browse and learn what happened to Ethiopia, their market is called ECX, just introduced six years ago you will find amazing results.

    Also second Government should create ennvironment to attract and organise internal investors to bridge the gap, so as to absorb farmers produces. You know these efforts as to me i can see are mainly influenced by policy makers, so they are the ones to take necessary action with strong political will



    Thanks Flano for the information that there is the move of instituting a Tanzania Commodity Exchange Market (TCEM) in the country. Foremost,there is a need for stakeholders to build capacities to our small-scale farmers.This will enable them to utilize this "opportunity" and hence they can improve their livelihood.



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