Currently, MUVIKIHO brings together 11 farmer groups, which - in total - consist of about 500 individual farmers. The farmers are cultivating horticulture produce on more than 200 acres of land that has access to water for irrigation. The members of MUVIKIHO are engaged in the production and joint marketing of three export horticulture products: Green beans, snow peas and chili. For the future, they are also planning to expand the export to baby corn. At the same time, the farmers also produce many other fruits and vegetables for the local markets. To ensure that the horticulture production adheres to food safety and quality standards, the organisation coached farmers to change their farming practices to make them more sustainable. After extensive coaching and with the support of Rikolto, TAHA, and Government Agricultural Officers, MUVIKIHO was able to obtain the Global Good Agricultural Practices Certification. This enables members to export and sell their produce for a better price to interested export companies.
Quality produce in high demand
MUVIKIHO has succeeded in the production of quality vegetables in compliance with international standards. However, a shortage of working capital is still a hurdle to achieve mass production and fulfil the market needs. Following an increased demand for greens beans, peas, and chili from exporting companies, MUVIKIHO farmers were unable to meet the demand and consistent supply of produce due to the inadequate working capital for production expansion. Exporting companies such as Serengeti Fresh Ltd, Home Veg Tanzania Ltd, Mara Farming, and Beth Equisolutions Company Ltd have buying contracts that are not being fulfilled by MUVIKIHO. For example, 4 tons of chili per week for Beth Equisolutions Company Ltd and 10 acres of green beans per week for Serengeti fresh have not been supplied by MUVIKIHO due to shortage of working capital to engage in farming activities. The main uses of the working capital include hiring land, farm preparation, purchasing farming inputs (e.g. pesticides), and payment of casual labourers for picking and grading of produce.