The Tanzanian government has committed to promoting avocado production (farming) in the South African country.
This was disclosed by the Deputy Minister for Investment, Industries, and Trade, Exaud Kigahe, saying there are plans in the pipeline to invest heavily to attract more people to venture into the lucrative business of producing avocadοs.
This is achievable through taking robust measures including producing quality seedlings, promoting mass production, construction of processing factories and storage facilities.
The minister acknowledged that avocado farming is key in the fight against poverty, saying that the government will increase support to enable farmers tap into the avocado global market.
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He said the sixth phase government will continue encouraging and promoting construction of factories in the country including those dealing with avocado processing.
“Among the strategies put in place is setting aside enough and productive areas in each district across the country to facilitate establishment of the factories, creating a conducive environment for investors as well as ensuring that raw materials are easily available,” he said.
This also has been done in the Mufindi district at Igowole area, where the government has set aside a huge land for the construction of several factories and was welcoming investors who are willing to commence investments in the area, he explained.
According to current data, avοcado production has increased from 20,000 tons in 2015/2016 to 190,000 tons in 2018/2019.
In addition, exports of avocado increased from 3,279 tonnes in 2015 to 9,000 tonnes in 2019 which injected in the country a total of USD8.5 million.
Locally produced avοcados are sold in European markets including France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom as well as in Japan and the United Arab Emirates.
Some of the companies that have benefited smallholder farmers by buying the crop and exporting it include Africado based in Kilimanjaro, Rungwe Avocado Limited, Tanzanice, where more than 2,000 farmers have benefited from the crop through these companies.
Despite selling the avocadοs, the people around the companies have benefited from the avocadο cultivation support.
ALVADO TZ ltd is a factory located in Njombe region and has capacity to process and produce 100 tonnes of avocado-oil per year and expert them in various parts.
The region also has four collection centres which are used to package and transport avocadοs.
“However, due to lack of enough avocados, the factory processes only 60 tonnes per month, this is a wakeup call for farmers in the areas to grab the opportunity by cultivating more avocados and selling them in the factory,” he added.
Avocado farming in Tanzania, started gaining momentum in 2015 when some people shared what they had achieved from cultivating avocadοs.
The regions which are major producers of avocado are Njombe, Iringa, Songwe, Morogoro, Kagera, Arusha, Kilimanjaro and Tanga.