Tanzania and Netherlands Sign MoU to Boost Horticulture Production and Marketing Collaborations
Tanzania has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Netherlands, a move that will enable the East African country increase its horticulture products market acceptance, boost agricultural trade efficiency, and generate more jobs and foreign revenues.
The MoU that outlined particular areas of collaboration was signed in Dodoma with Tanzania represented by Gerald Mweli, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture while Ambassador Wiebe de Boer represented Netherlands’ Ministry of Agriculture, Nature, and Food Quality.
It was also witnessed by Mr. Bart Pauwels, regional agricultural counselor for the Dutch Embassy, and members of the Tanzania Horticultural Association (TAHA).
According to Boer, Netherlands has been providing information, skills, technology, and innovations for sustainable horticulture commerce to fulfill the rising need for food in Tanzania and the surrounding areas.
“Tanzania and the Netherlands have a long-standing cooperation that spans over 40 years. There are about 80 Dutch companies operating in Tanzania; 70 per cent have invested in the agricultural sector, the majority of which are in the horticultural sector,” said Boer.
The Tanzania Plant Health and Pesticide Authority (TPHPA), National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPOs) and the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) have been charged by the duty of carrying out the terms of the agreed MoU.
Tanzania’s horticulture industry
This comes at a time Tanzania’s horticulture industry has been experiencing rapid expansion over the past three decades and is now one of the country’s main sources of foreign income.
Horticulture exports made up a sizeable share of the total export value in 2019 and totaled $779 million. Approximately 4.5 million farmers, both small and large-scale, primarily rely on this industry for their livelihoods. The majority of these farmers are women and young people, according to the sector report.
Export certification challenges
TPHPA normally provides a number of certificates each year but it takes a lot of time to write and sign each as the process is done by hand.
Also, paper certificates are permanent records that cannot be changed if an input error is made or if the features of the export consignment change while the export is being processed.
Changes in cargo space which occur often during ordinary export operations may force the need to adjust the number of goods to be shipped.
Because a paper certificate is included with a shipment when it is exported, it is challenging for port officials in an importing nation to pre-clear a shipment with a known history prior to its arrival, which causes unneeded delays at ports, even for regular goods.