HomeVeg Limited, a Tanzanian-owned fruit and vegetable producer, is using a Feed the Future economic expansion grant through the U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) to connect smallholder farmers near Arusha, Tanzania, with the profitable international export market for fresh vegetables.
HomeVeg promotes sustainable horticulture, a Feed the Future priority sector in Tanzania, by building the capacity of 1,200 rural growers who are part of the vegetable supply chain.
In 2010, HomeVeg received a capacity building grant from USADF to complete its Global Good Agricultural Practice certification, which assures quality standards of agricultural products throughout the production process, from farm inputs to exporting. The current economic expansion grant under Feed the Future is supporting the construction of two new boreholes in Arusha that will enable local farmers to irrigate their crops and grow vegetables year-round. HomeVeg also plans to construct a new pack house (where crops are sorted and packaged prior to exporting), which will employ 150 local workers, about 90 percent of whom are women. More than eight tons of fresh produce will be graded and shipped out of HomeVeg’s doors each week. The grant also supports trainings for farmers in business skills and agronomy practices.
Kim Ward, USADF regional program director, sees HomeVeg’s business model as an excellent way to earn profits and increase local incomes. “We expect the HomeVeg investment will provide market access and assist prior USADF-funded and other horticulture production groups in northern Tanzania to increase their sales and income over many years to come,” Ward said.
HomeVeg exports a variety of produce, working with four international buyers in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. The company hopes to double its international buyers by the fifth year of the project.
Women, who represent the majority of HomeVeg supplier farmers and workers, can now earn higher prices for their produce, which translates into improved household nutrition and better educational opportunities for children, especially girls. Currently, 1,200 local farmers and their 6,000 family members and children are benefiting from the HomeVeg Feed the Future grant.