The demand for high-quality vegetables in Tanzania has steadily increased over the past decade as incomes and urbanization have increased. According to the Tanzania Official Seed Certification (TOSCI), more than half of the 60 registered seed companies in Tanzania deal in vegetable seeds. The market for these seeds is estimated at $25M, with an anticipated 260% growth to $65M by 2024.
Innovations in the fresh fruits and vegetable value chain are mostly driven by seed companies, which develop new varieties and provide extension services and demonstrations on good agricultural practices (GAP) to increase yields.
Through AECF’s Tanzania Agribusiness Window, Africasia Seed Company Limited (ASCL) received USD$ 500,000 which has gone a long way in the expansion of seed varieties available to farmers and improving the commercialization of fresh fruits and vegetable seed varieties through the establishment of demonstration plots, farmer field days, farmer training and meetings as mechanisms to facilitate market uptake.
The investment established a processing plant in Arusha, expanded fresh fruits and vegetables seed varieties and strengthened the out-grower and production base for Open Pollinated Varieties (OPVs).