This is a two year project which started in October, 2007, concentrates activities in the northern highlands of Arusha and Tanga regions and is supported by USAID. The objective of the project is to build the capacity of smallholder farmers in these areas to integrate into profitable export markets for high-value vegetable (HVV) products. The project is implemented in collaboration with ACDI/VOCA, an American agribusiness development organization and other stake holders including exporters of horticultural products. Rudi’s role in the project is to build the capacity of farmer associations in business practices, leadership and accountability.
The project has three project components namely:
- Production enhancement
- Strengthening market linkages
- Cross cutting component
- Productivity Enhancement: Technical assistance, training and commodity support grants to increase on-farm per unit productivity, reduce production costs, improve product quality and select a profitable range of HVV products. This component has two activities:
- Strengthening Market Linkages: The project’s advisory services link smallholder farmers into profitable market chains by helping them identify and successfully pursue group market opportunities. This component has two activities:
- Expand Export Market Out grower Schemes: SHOP builds the capacity of farmer associations to deliver high-quality products reliably and commercially to exporter partners by facilitating communication and technical transfer between farmer groups and exporters to engender mutually-beneficial business relationships.
- Expand Domestic Market Out grower Schemes: As a stepping stonetowards increasing export-quality production capability, this activity helps farmer associations increase sales of HVV to supermarkets, such as Shoprite and to the hospitality industry throughout Tanzania.
- Cross-Cutting Component: To support components one and two above, SHOP conducted a value chain update of the high value export and domestic vegetable markets, through one of its project partners. Additionally, SHOP provides material support to project beneficiaries, and/or linkages to other forms of support, such as credit. This component has three activities:
- Value Chain Update: The SHOP team collaborated with the SME Competitiveness Facility (SCF) to update the value chain of the HVV sector in Tanzania and assess any changes in the industry’s dynamics, constraints and opportunities.
- Commodity Grant Fund: The project administers a grant fund to materially support smallholder farmer groups with seed investment for equipment or services to upgrade productivity and marketing.
- Credit Linkage: To ensure the sustainability of project interventions, access to sustainable forms of credit is essential to project success. We are liaising with USAID, other donors, financial institutions and mi cro-finance organizations to establish revolving loan funds for inputs.