TANZANIA – The government of Tanzania seeks to channel Tsh 3 billion (US$1.29m) in the construction of two avocado processing plants to curb post-harvest loss and increase export earnings.

The processing facility set to be established in the Iringa region in the south of the country is expected to have a processing capacity of 3,600 tonnes of fruit per year, fetching Tsh. 23 billion shillings (US$10 million) in export earnings per year according to government estimates.

With a lack of processing capacity, some of the fruits rot before they are consumed or exported. By adding value to the fruit, will enable the country to fetch higher income from sale of the commodity.

According to reports by Citizen Tanzania, the investment is a public-private initiative and is part of the government’s plan to generate US$45 million through fruit exports by 2023 up from $33 million (about Sh75 billion) currently.

The projection is based on plans to increase export volumes of the product to 15,000 tonnes which is 3,763 tonnes up compared to 11,237 tonnes exported last year.

The 2021 exports accounted for 510 containers that were shipped to the international market, whereby this volume was an increase by 12.6 percent compared to those of 2020.

Tanzania is currently the 4th African exporter of the fruit behind Kenya, South Africa and Morocco.

The top destinations for the country’s avocado are France and the Netherlands. Together, the two markets accounted for more than three-quarters of this product’s exports between 2014 and 2018. The United Kingdom came third with 14% of exports.

The East African nation is also tapping into other promising markets like China and India. In November 2021, the Indian Plant Health Authority allowed for the first-time avocado imports from Tanzania.

After gaining entry into the Indian market, the East African nation is eyeing the Chinese market which currently is being served by players such as neighbouring Kenya.

Avocado farming is said to gain momentum in 2015 and the regions which are major producers are Njombe, Iringa, Songwe, Morogoro, Kagera, Arusha, Kilimanjaro and Tanga.

Other than establishment of the avocado processing unit, is seeking to construct two mega laboratories in Dodoma and Mwanza at an estimate cost of about Tsh 9.9 billion (USD 4,245,283).

The buildings, to be named Viwango House, are aimed at bringing services closer to clients as well as increasing efficiency in service delivery by the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS).

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