Today, the U.S. government through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and in partnership with the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar launched a new program aimed at strengthening Zanzibar’s horticulture market systems and promoting economic development. The Feed the Future Tanzania Kilimo Tija Activity in Unguja and Pemba Islands will sustainably increase economic opportunities in horticulture, with a special focus on including and empowering youth. The project works with public and private sector associations, youth-led and women-focused institutions, and national and local government authorities to enhance the horticulture market system and unlock economic opportunities, particularly for youth.
Graced by the esteemed presence of the Speaker of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar House of Representatives, Honorable Zuberi Ali Maulid, Ministers and USAID officials, the launch of Feed the Future Tanzania- Kilimo Tija in Zanzibar highlights USAID’s unwavering commitment to supporting horticulture economic growth in both Unguja and Pemba islands.
In her remarks, the USAID/Tanzania Feed the Future Coordinator Dr. Tor Edwards emphasized on the growing partnership for the two governments and horticulture sector success as witnessed in increasing supply of nutritious food and boosting the economic growth for Zanzibar.
“A decade ago, Zanzibar was importing most of its horticulture products from the mainland and other sources, but now almost 80 percent of horticulture products are produced in Zanzibar,” noted Edwards. “Horticulture in Zanzibar is thriving as local farmers are increasingly providing the hotel industry with valuable horticultural products.”
The launch event also included the handover of motorcycles and soil test kits to Block Extension Officers working under the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, Natural Resources, and Livestock in Zanzibar. The Kilimo Tija project has budgeted TZS 2.3 billion shillings in support of the horticulture sector for Zanzibar in 2023/24 to drive economic development in the horticulture sector and lay the foundation for sustainable development and prosperity. This program is expected to benefit at least 500 micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and 8,000 farmers in the isles.
Targeting Tanzania’s Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania “SAGCOT” regions of Iringa, Mbeya, Morogoro, and Njombe, along with Zanzibar’s Unguja and Pemba islands, USAID Kilimo Tija’s primary goal is to sustainably increase economic opportunities in horticulture market systems, with a special focus on including and empowering youth. The project works with public and private sector associations, youth-led and women-focused institutions, and national and local government authorities to enhance horticulture market systems and unlock economic opportunities, particularly for the youth.
Over the course of the program (Sept 2022-Sept 2027), the project expects to support 2,500 micro, small, and medium enterprises, and tens of thousands of smallholder farmers, especially youth. The initiative also seeks to achieve a remarkable 15 percent annual revenue growth for the enterprises, over $100,000 in sales of produce from smallholder farmers, over $20 million in new investment leveraged, and the creation of at least 7,400 new jobs.