New ‘Marshall Plan’ for Tanzania’s horticulture skills base
A new strategic partnership between the Tanzania Horticultural Association (Taha), the World Vegetable Center (WVC), the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST), and COLEACP has been described as a new ‘Marshall Plan’ for horticulture in Tanzania (The Citizen, 29 June). The aim is to bridge the skills gap in the horticulture industry, spur the industry’s growth, and earn the economy $1.85 billion per annum in the next five years (up from the current $779 million), improve food security, and create jobs and wealth for youth and women. “The MoU signing between Taha, COLEACP, WVC and NM-AIST marks a turning point in bridging practical skills gap in Tanzania’s horticulture value chains. The 5-year pilot programme will see to thousands of youths being imparted with prerequisite skills to unlock the industry potential” said the Taha Group chief executive officer, Ms Jacqueline Mkindi.
The deal paves the way for the rolling out of an accredited horticultural practical training programme, offering locally and internationally recognised certificate and diploma courses at the Arusha-based NM-AIST. Taha will coordinate the private and public sectors to support the project, promote and market the programme to the industry, and oversee practical sessions. NM-AIST plans to to offer practical training, conduct crop research from farm to laboratory, and come up with hybrid seeds to improve yields. The WVC and COLEACP will bring their experience in research and development, postharvest management and technologies crucial to the horticulture value chain.
Revitalising Kenyan horticulture post-COVID-19
COLEACP Regional Programme Manager Yessie Meyer contributed to a Zoom webinar on “Revitalising Kenya’s horticulture sub-sector in light of C19” on 1 July. The strategic discussion, organised by the Society of Crop Agribusiness Advisors of Kenya (SOCAA) and the Agriculture and Food Authority, discussed restructuring and supporting the sub-sector’s resilience and growth in the post-COVID-19 era. Along with COLEACP, panelists were from SOCAA, Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya, Kenya Flower Council, Ministry of Agriculture Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives, and the Horticulture Crops Directorate.
FARM-COLEACP Working Group on Farmers’ Contracting in Africa
A virtual meeting of the FARM-COLEACP Working Group on Farmers’ Contracting in Africa gathered together 20 partners from Africa and France to discuss best practices. FARM (Fondation pour l’agriculture et la ruralité dans le monde) is a think tank promoting sustainable agricultural systems and agri-food chains.