Empowering Women though irrigated vegetable Production and Marketing

In June 2006, the Government of Tanzania together with the private sector decided to place "Agriculture First" for national development. Horticultural sub-sector has been recognized as an engine for Tanzanian's social-economic growth and a significant contributor to rural poverty alleviation. The Tanzania Horticulture Development Strategy (THDS) 2012-2021 envisages facilitating the development of the horticultural industry so as to IMPROVE NUTRITIONAL STATUS, INCREASE INCOME AND REDUCE POVERTY while increasing productivity and quality of produce. The THDS also has identified challenges in value chain including major two challenges which are (1) A WEAK PRODUCTION BASE and (2) INADEQUATE MARKETING SYSTEM AND WEAK INDUSTRY LINKAGES.
In Tanzania and Singida inclusive there is still vast untapped potential in the horticulture industry, this is confirmed with two studies (2011 and 2014) conducted by HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation. Vegetable producers can enhance their production and address this potential. Post-harvest loss remain major challenge accounting t0 30%-80% loss. In addition, the studies coupled with experience of the EUKUWAKI project shows that the production is not intensive, and qualities of produce planted and harvested is often low. There are limited extension services available for vegetable producers, and access to quality input is poor. Marketing of products is often problematic because of limited transportation and infrastructures and independence on middlemen


To address the challenges: from 2012 to 2014, HELVETAS Tanzania implemented a three year project called KUWAKI which is the Swahili acronym of KUWEZESHA WANAWAKE KATIKA KILIMO meaning " Empowering Women Through Agriculture" in Singida Region, specifically in five districts namely Mkalama, Ikungi, Iramba, Singida Rural  and Urban. The project reached over 800 households organized into 40 women farmer groups.
It was anticipated that after three years women will have access to additional economic opportunities, exploit them and thereby increase food security of their household and reduce gender inequalities in agriculture. " To reach this, the farmer groups were trained: in Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for vegetable production, in the Village Saving and Lending (VSL model), in tomato and green leaf processing and entrepreneurship as well as a simple pedal pumps for small scale irrigation were promoted.
Based on notable achivements abtained inthis first phase, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation manage to secure funding (78% of the project total budget) from the EUROPEAN UNION to scale up. Currently the project is working with 100 farmers groups representing over 2,500 poor households (HHs), 15 wards in 66 villages of three districts namely Singida Rural, Mkalama and Iramba


  • Increase productivity (yields) by 45% and quality of vegetables because of application of good agricultural practices
  • More than 3,406 vegetable producers and 65 value chain actors (traders and Agro-dealers) capacitated in marketing (business development, market linkages and processing)
  • Reduction of post-harvest loss at the farm and domestic by 15% because of GAP and processing of vegetables
  • Increase HHs income and financial security by 66% due to selling vegetables and saving.
  • 30% deduction of malnutrition and death of children under five years old among HHs as the result of vegetable consuption
  • Increase employment opportunities: 25 new artisans, 100 lead farmers and 100 community resorce personales
  • Improved access to reliable markets and input services whereby farmers are connected with traders from Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Mwanza. Input market associations play intermediary role in marketing group farmers products.
  • Since 2015 to date more than 100 women farmers groups were formed with total savings of over Tanzanian Shillings 600 million (over EURO 280 Million) and distributed loan Tanzanian Shillings 500 million (Over EUR 228 Million).
  • 3 Processing plants have been constructed and completed. They are noiw in operational process which is creating employment activities, increase production and productivity, competitiveness and income.

Kuwezesha Wanawake Katika Kilimo

Total Direct beneficiaries 800+2606=3406 Household (20,436 people) Project Investment CHF 600,000 +CHF 1,532,733=CHF 2,132,733


  • Climate change, sudden change in weather patterns-uneven rainfall distribution affect the production of onion and tomatoes
  • Limited availability of packaging materials for both fresh vegetables and processed products pose a difficulty in eradication of post-harvest loss prevention of the vegetables.
  • Presence of ingenuine farm inputs in the market, such as fertilizers leads to poor harvest.


Due to project intervention some farmers are earning high, some medium and others low, therefore the project is in the process of conducting a research before November 2016 to generate the learnings/draw lessons the inconsistances in farmers earning and draw a projection of 2017 focusing points in the year plan.