The horticulture industry has a lot of potential

24Jan 2019
Editor
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
The horticulture industry has a lot of potential

Horticulture has been defined as the culture of plants for food, comfort and beauty. A more precise definition can be given as the cultivation, processing, and sale of fruits, nuts, vegetables, ornamental plants, and flowers as well as many additional services . It also includes plant-

and flowers as well as many additional services .  It also includes plant conservation, landscape restoration, soil management, landscape and garden design, construction, and maintenance, and arboriculture. In contrast to agriculture, horticulture does not include large-scale crop production or animal husbandry.

Horticulturists apply their knowledge, skills, and technologies used to grow intensively produced plants for human food and non-food uses and for personal or social needs. Their work involves plant propagation and cultivation with the aim of improving plant growth, yields, quality, nutritional value, and resistance to insects, diseases, and environmental stresses. They work as gardeners, growers, therapists, designers, and technical advisors in the food and non-food sectors of horticulture. Horticulture even refers to the growing of plants in a field or garden.

The word horticulture is modeled after agriculture, and comes from the Latin hortus "garden" .

 and cultūra "cultivation", from cultus.

 

 

 

 

THE Tanzania Horticultural Association (TAHA) is a Business Association grouping together all aspects of the Horticulture Industry in Tanzania. Since its inception in 2004 TAHA has successfully brought together the large scale professional operations and the many growers’ groups and small holders into a single bloc with a single business oriented set of interests.

This achievement has resulted in TAHA becoming the fastest growing farmer organization in the region. And the recognition of that accomplishment has brought the partnerships and support that are continuing to transform the industry.      Tanzania and Development Partners such as USAID, BEST-AC, the Royal Netherlands Embassy and Finnish Government are all involved in supporting horticulture in projects in partnership with TAHA or in part designed with the advice and participation of TAHA. As a result TAHA is strategically placed to both influence the course development and advocate the reduction of constraints. By bringing the producers, traders, exporters and processors of all horticultural products – that is flowers, fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs and seeds - TAHA has created a single Voice. A voice of both large scale and small that resonates locally, nationally and internationally and with a common understanding that the challenge is about making business work. TAHA has been leading the industry in addressing that challenge and anticipates horticulture’s contribution to be significant to both economic growth and poverty eradication.

 

 

 

As Tanzania Horticultural Association (TAHA) executive director, Jacqueline Mkindi heads one of the most successful agri-business portfolios in the country, which mainly involves exporting commodities to rich country markets.

 

Her efforts, have made many horticultural producers graduate from subsistence farmers growing vegetables and fruits to feed their families while selling a small surplus to local consumers, to become exporters of such commodities.

 

Under Mkindi’s leadership, the industry has seen increased exports revenue from US$64 million in 2006 to over US$600 million in 2015/16 while increasing jobs created from 500,000 2.5 million over the same period of time.

 

Annually, the horticulture industry has been growing at the rate of 12 per cent a year for much of the same period thanks to TAHA’s efforts to build capacity of members.

 

 

 Much as the industrialisation policy calls for boosting production of agricultural crops to serve as raw materials, the farmers’ long outcry over lack of reliable markets we hope will be solved once and for all.

 

The horticulture industry has a lot of potential to continue growing and increase the number of people who are directly employed from about 2.5 million farmers to 10 million in the next five years under TAHA’s five-year-strategy.

 

 

 

 Over 35 different policy bottlenecks have been addressed over the past seven years as a result of the TAHA-government joint efforts.

 

  Partnering with government has gone a long way in improving taxation regime and systems and procedures for horticulture production, including inputs registration.

 

The association which boasts of both large scale producers and smallholder farmers on one hand and processors and exporters of horticultural produce with allied members’ service providers, on the other hand,  is successfully assisting small scale producers to become medium of large scale producers.