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NGO donates tools to Singida horticulture farmers

The local-based international non-governmental organization (NGO), Helvetas Tanzania, has donated horticulture working tools worth over 91m/- to empower lead farmers in Singida Region where EUKUWAKI project is being implemented in the three districts of Mkalama, Iramba and Singida Rural.

Speaking during the handover, Singida District Commissioner (DC), Said Amanzi, reiterated the need for lead farmers in the project interventions to use the tools accordingly, in order to bring an impact to the horticulture’s small scale-dealer’s economic development. “It will not be worth it if the beneficiaries will use the tools which have been provided to them for different objectives and leave aside the stated objectives for the tools,” he said.

He added that lead farmers who have been given the tools that aim to help them in their farming operations will be good ambassadors in disseminating the knowledge they obtained during their 10-day training held at at Tengeru in Arusha Region.

In another development, Amanzi appealed to the local government and Helvetas Tanzania to continue empowering the onion business community with skills on sorting and packaging their produce, saying lack of the knowledge on sorting and packaging was depriving them of onion market.

Amanzi was concerned that packaging in the onion business was important to the farmers in order to counter stiff competition from East African Community (EAC) partner states who have advanced technology. Helvetas Tanzania deputy director, Daniel Kalimbia, appealed to lead farmers to cooperate with ward executive officers in their respective areas in making sure that they helped farmers by giving them knowledge imparted to them.

He said Helvetas was working on the Tanzanian horticultural industry which faced a lot of challenges, including a weak production base, low productivity and quality, invisibility and marginalization, as well as limited access to finance, especially lack of long-term financing.

Kalimbia noted that if there were no efforts to curb the existing problems, including bottlenecks in land, policy and infrastructure, inadequate market development support, weak industry linkages, limited entrepreneurship capacity and inadequate skills and competent human resource, will continue to deflate farmers.

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