Strong links to markets for smallholder farmers are essential to generating economic growth in rural areas and reducing hunger and poverty. These links also boost productivity, increase incomes and strengthen food security. Better access by smallholders to domestic and international markets means that they can reliably sell more produce at higher prices. This in turn encourages farmers to invest in their own businesses and increase the quantity, quality and diversity of the goods they produce in order to meet market requirements, as in the case of Mbuguni Commercial Village, Arusha, Tanzania.
Mbuguni, Arusha Region is located in Northern Tanzania. It is a semi-arid area characterized by fertile sandy soils and erratic rainfall, posing major challenges to farmers.
After FCI’s commercialization efforts through the Expanded Commercial Village Processing Programme (ECVPP), Mbuguni Commercial village has started building a new Cassava Processing Unit with plans to relocate their processing machine into the new building. This is because the old processing unit did not meet the standard for certification of cassava products to be sold in formal markets in Tanzania. Consequently, Mbuguni Commercial village has not able to sell their processed cassava into formal markets, but were instead depending on local markets, which fetch lower prices.
The CV requested help from the local government in locating a plot of land in order for them to build a new Cassava Processing Unit. As soon as the plot was located, the group started building.
After completion of the new processing unit, Mbuguni farmers are targeting to have the cassava certified by Tanzania Bureau of Standards, in order to qualify for the formal markets.
FCI VISION : To have commercialized smallholder communities with increased incomes for improved, stabilized & sustainable livelihoods in Africa and beyond