The estimated farm gate value of sweet potato and bananas is USD 371 Million and USD 2 billion respectively. Their potential to feed the world is set to increase following the Seed-Farmer-Market Consumer (SeFaMaCo) Programme interventions by Farm Concern International with funding from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 

Agriculture is the main industry in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA), employing 65% of Africa’s labor force and contributing about a third of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Agriculture is mostly done by smallholder farmers who own about 2 hectares or less of land. 

Sweet potato and bananas are important crops cultivated in various regions of Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia. Banana production is highest in Uganda and Tanzania with yields of 11.1million metric tons (11.57%) and 3.9 million metric tons (4.0%), respectively.  However, consumer demand exceeds the supply due to low productivity.

The low productivity is attributed to soil degradation as well as severe pests and disease outbreaks, (bacterial wilt and sigatoka and nematodes) coupled with other factors such as unorganized smallholder farmers’ production and marketing systems, and insufficient inputs supply systems. Smallholders grow bananas on average farms sizes of about 0.15–1.0 hectares in predominantly rain-fed systems.  

According to the SeFaMaCo Landscape Analysis undertaken by FCI with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the estimated farm gate value of sweet potato in Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia is USD 371 Million against a potential of USD 2.03 Billion under optimum production. This results in a commercial loss of USD 1.74 Billion annually. The estimated farm gate value of bananas in Uganda and Tanzania is USD 2 billion against a potential of USD 13.3 Billion resulting into a combined commercial loss of USD 11.47 billion annually.

The SeFaMaCo Landscape Analysis was undertaken by Farm Concern International with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (B&MGF) from November 2013-April 2014 involving 204 institutions. It proposes innovative interventions at Farmer level for increased production and commercialization of both sweet potato and bananas by smallholder farmers, ultimately feeding the world. 

The annual production of sweet potatoes in Tanzania is estimated to be about 2.4MT, produced from 56,000ha of land compared to Uganda, whose estimated production reached 2.8 million MT in 2010 from 540,000ha of land, with an average yield of about 4.1t/ha.  The productivity in Tanzania is  4.2 t/ha, with most of it being produced in 21 regions around the Lake Zone (Mwanza, Shinyanga, and Kagera), Southern Highlands (Ruvuma), Western Zone (Tabora, Kigoma) and Eastern Zone (Morogoro, Coast, and Dar-es-Salaam).  In Ethiopia, sweet potato production increased from 25,000ha to 53,000ha of land with resulting into 403,000MT. 

The low productivity is attributed to soil degradation as well as severe pests and disease outbreaks, (bacterial wilt and sigatoka and nematodes) coupled with other factors such as unorganized smallholder farmers’ production and marketing systems, and insufficient inputs supply systems. Smallholders grow bananas on average farms sizes of about 0.15–1.0 hectares in predominantly rain-fed systems.  As a result, Uganda has a dormant capacity of 86% of the potential yield estimated to be about 17,032,800MT, while Tanzania has a capacity of 81% as shown in figure 1 & 2 below.  

If this is exploited, there is potential for increasing productivity to 35Mt/ha and 60Mt/ha in Tanzania and Uganda respectively. 

Uganda has a dormant capacity of 86% of the potential yield estimated to be about 17,032,800MT, while Tanzania has a capacity of 81% as shown in figures 1 & 2 below.

To tap into the potential and dormant capacity within the three countries, the Seed-Farmer-Market Consumer (SeFaMaCo) model being implemented by FCI and other Partners aims to commercialize the production of both sweet potato and bananas through the innovative Commercial Villages Model (CVM). 

The Commercial Village Model is designed to sustainably deepen the impact through enhancing vibrant agri-trade enterprises among a large number of Commercial Village trading blocs to attract community-wide investments in more cost-effective and efficient approaches. The Commercial Villages are geared towards evolving typical African villages into commercialized villages which operate as business units and further evolving villagers and neighbors into business partners. Through the CVs, farmers within identified geo-administrative areas which comprise several villages graduate from subsistence to commercialized production, where smallholder producers are able to attain economies of scale and mobilize social capital in production and marketing that is not achieved by smaller farmer groups.

The Commercial Village Model at the farmer level will be implemented to promote optimal yield production for sweet potato production in 0.75 acres bringing the cumulative land production area under sweet potato to 77,190 acres within the three countries. The Programme aims to enhance overall production of the targeted households up to about 112% in Tanzania and Uganda and up to 211% in Ethiopia. Similarly, the Programme will target 90,071 banana smallholder farmers within Uganda and Tanzania by putting 1 acre under production in these countries as shown in the table below.

Smallholder commercialization is aimed at graduating smallholder families from subsistence farming which currently characterizes banana smallholders in Tanzania and Uganda to a market-led production through use of productivity enhancing inputs and technologies. Commercialization initiatives will further focus on strengthening the capacity of the farmer groups and farmer organizations to enhance collective action in sourcing for quality inputs, marketing and savings for increased household incomes for banana smallholder farmers.

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Banana is now the new ‘gold’ benefitting both traders and smallholder farmers in traditional informal markets. Madibo Urafiki, market in Tanzania trades bananas valued at USD 4,750,995 per week by 271 traditional informal traders [Findings from SeFaMaCo Landscape report funded by the Gates Foundation]

Smallholder farmers’ and informal markets are key to Africa’s food security and improved livelihoods.  In Africa, agricultural marketing begins at the level of individual smallholder farmer, since as producers, they also consume part of what is produced and some marketed.

The total global production of banana ranks fourth after maize, rice and wheat (CGIAR, 2014). The production of ten most leading banana producing countries is estimated to be about 95.9 million metric tons (FAOSTAT, 2012). Uganda and 

Tanzania are among the two African countries featuring among these top 10 producers, contributing about 11.57% and 3.9 million metric tons (4.0%), respectively. In 2012 the volume of global gross banana exports reached a record high of 16.5 million tons (FAO, 2014).

Bananas are the world’s most popular fruit and one of the world’s most important staple foods, along with rice, wheat and maize. In 2011, 107 million metric tons of bananas were produced in more than 130 countries on 0.1 per cent of the world’s agricultural area, for a total trade value of USD 9 billion (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 2013) and a retail value of approximately USD 25 billion. Bananas have a high rate of domestic consumption, with only about 17 % of bananas exported to foreign markets annuallyD

Tanzania is the second largest banana producer in East Africa after Uganda. It produces about 2.4 million tons from an acreage of 290,000 ha and a yield of about 8.2MT/ha (FAOStat, 2012, NBS, 2003). 

The market demand for banana in Tanzania has been on the increase due to a growing population and changing consumption patterns. The increasing demand is also attributed to bananas being the staple food, its popularity at breakfast and availability all year round. Up to about 70% of the bananas produced in Tanzania is consumed by the producing households. In Tanzania, about 30% of the banana produced is used for local brewing and only about 8% is sold fresh.  

The informal marketing of bananas is mostly done by both by men and women as well as youth. However, more men are involved in the business.  Banana marketing channels include local traditional informal markets, urban wholesale and retail markets, cross-border regional markets and cottage processors, with most of the bulk produce being sold in local and nearby markets to traders.

Madibo Urafiki market in Dar es Salaam Tanzania is one of the major trading informal markets in Tanzania. It is an urban market that serves both the wholesalers and retailers within the capital city selling a variety of agricultural produce. There are an estimated 271 informal traditional banana traders in the market with each trader selling an average volume of 8.5 tons per week, where it’s estimated that the monthly banana trade is about USD 4,750,955. The key marketing cost was found to be banana sourcing which accounts for 73% of the total marketing costs by the traditional informal traders.

The Seed-Farmer-Market Consumer (SeFaMaCo) Landscape Analysis, 2014 report reveals that farmers’ market profit share for banana is between 25% and 35% while traders’ share was 58%.

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This brief provides market information and in depth analysis on the agricultural and horticultural commodities traded in Arusha and Moshi markets.  The content here in is derived from a Rapid Market Assessment conducted in 7 markets across Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions by Farm Concern International (FCI) with funds from HiVos through Agri-Nutrition for Coffee Zone in Tanzania project.

Market Environment

Agri-trade in Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions in Tanzania is male dominated. In both Arusha and Moshi, men account for 62% of the total trader population. This could be due to the fact that these markets are predominantly involved in wholesale business which tends to be more elaborate since wholesalers are involved in bulk trading hence requiring more agility that tends to lock out women. On the other hand, women tend to dominate retail markets because trading is less bulky, involves less travel and lower risks and requires less capital outlay, however, business returns/incomes are relatively low in retail trading.

Market size and value of commodities traded

On average, beans have the highest monthly value estimated at USD 594,717 representing 27% of the value market share across all the markets surveyed during the study followed by Rice at an estimated monthly value of USD 506,189 (23% share) while Irish potatoes had a value of USD 280,542 (13% share) and Onions with USD 209,483 (10% share).  

Beans, rice, Irish potatoes and bulb onion are also the most highly traded commodities in terms of value share traded per month partly indicating that traders do invest more to trade in these commodities due to their demand. The above said commodities are also in high demand; they are traded in relatively large quantities and are among the most frequently sourced commodities by wholesalers. 

Other value chains traded are maize, sorghum, carrots, tomatoes and sweet potatoes, wheat, millet green grams, and cow peas.

Commodity line level of trading

Most traders trade in exotic vegetables. Other leading value chains are; cereals, pulses, and tubers respectively. Traditional African vegetables (TAVs) are the least preferred. 

Commodity Sourcing

Sourcing is influenced by various factors including demand levels, rate of stock turn over, perishability nature of the commodity, storage facilities logistics of supply and cost involved in sourcing among others. 

Agri-trade in Tanzania is lucrative. In Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions, the sector moves over US$ 1.59 million monthly based on the output of the four leading commodities (beans, rice, Irish potatoes & onions). The sector however heavily suffers price inflation caused by inundating of commodities in the market. Due to high dependency on rain-fed farming most farmers grow crops during the same season causing an imbalance between supply and demand of the selected commodities. Farmers should therefore be advised to adopt modern farming technologies that support production across all seasons. 

 

 

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The local markets account for a very huge part of the markets for horticulture production in Tanzania. A study conducted by Farm Concern International (FCI) with funds from World Vision Tanzania and Canadian International Development Aid (CIDA) through the Market-led Agriculture Project established that, the domestic market account for 65% of onions produced in Tanzania. This brief provided insight of the nature of the onion trade in Tanzania focusing on Arusha and Moshi markets.

Present Status

On estimate, 27,000 tons of onions is traded in Arusha and Moshi informal markets annually. The margin generated by traders for bulb onion is relatively high with a profit margin per ton of about USD 135.70. Most of the onions are primarily sourced from Mang'ola, Kilombero, and Hai.

Seasonality of onion production

Tanzania experiences onion influxs around May as most varieties ripe at around this time. Red Bombay is the most popular onion variety in Tanzania. Its production is highest in March, May and December and is predominatly sourced from Mang’ola. The Khaki variety on the other hand is mostly produced in April and May and sourced from Singida, Arusha region.

Mang’ola in Arusha region, experiences very high onion productivity resulting in exports of the surplus onions throughout the year to Nairobi, Kenya where onion demand is high and the prices are relatively better.  

Consumer preference

Within the domestic market, comsumers mostly prefer the red bombay variety packaged in bundle (locally known as mafungu). Small and medium bundles retail faster. Red bulb onions are most prefered by institutions compared to the  white varieties.

Post-harvest management

The encouraging performance of Tanzania in regional trade has so far been largely attributed to the efforts of the farmers and local traders in observing quality.

Discussions held by Farm Concern International with Kenyan onion wholesalers indicate that they source bulb onion from Tanzania mainly due to domestic production deficits as well as quality as a result of enhanced postharvest management mainly through curing which gives the onions sourced from Tanzania a longer shelf life hence preference by the Kenyan market.  

Another aspect attributable to higher onions yields in Mang’ola is probably due to lower incidences of fungal diseases in the drier areas making Tanzania to have a competitive edge in onion production due to favorable weather conditions favoring onion farming.

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Beans are the third largest produced crop in Tanzania after maize and cassava. The main production areas are in the Northern Zone particularly Arusha, Kilimanjaro and Manyara region. Farm Concern International (FCI) with funds from HiVos through Agri-Nutrition for Coffee Zone in Tanzania undertook a rapid market opportunity assessment on commercialization and agri-trade of various agro-food commodities. This brief provides key highlights of the beans market in Tanzania based on findings from markets in Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions.

Market Environment

Beans production in Tanzania is dominantly substance mainly produced by female smallholder farmers.  The surplus production from the smallholder farmers as well as large scale farmers is normally supplied to both domestic and regional markets. At the market, traders set their prices according to quality, variety, season, and their marketing costs. 

Market Size and value traded

On average, beans cover the highest market size of all agri-food commodities in Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions estimated at 27% market size value. 

It is also the highest traded commodity with a collective cumulative monthly turnover of USD 594,717 compared to rice (USD 506,189), Irish potatoes (USD 280,542), and onions (USD 209,483) which are the next leading commodities after beans.

Distribution and Sourcing

Sourcing is influenced by various factors including demand levels, rate of stock turn over, perishability nature of the commodity, storage facilities logistics of supply and cost involved in sourcing among others. Occasionally, traders procure their produce directly from farmers and wholesale markets. 

On average, approximately 15,030Kgs of beans are traded in Arusha and Moshi (Kilimanjaro region) markets monthly. 

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FCI VISION : Commercialized smallholder communities with increased incomes for improved, stabilized & sustainable livelihoods in Africa and beyond