Good Food for Cities

Uganda and Tanzania transforming the horticulture sector through inclusive business models

April 12, 2023

Horticulture in Uganda and Tanzania is a promising opportunity for small-scale farmers to escape poverty, thanks to favorable climatic conditions. However, poor sector coordination and food safety issues constrain growth in Uganda, while Tanzania is thriving thanks to a dynamic horticulture association. Efficient supply chains are key to making this sector profitable for farmers. Rikolto is working to support more inclusive and sustainable supply chains and empowering small-scale farmers to unlock the full potential of horticulture in Uganda and Tanzania.

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Uganda and Tanzania

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Around 3,000 horticulture farmers in Uganda and Tanzania

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2017 - 2021


  • Inadequate access to improved planting materials (seeds, seedlings and cuttings) and other inputs e.g. fertilizer, pesticide;
  • Limited knowledge of production practices and inputs, due to inadequate research and extension services;
  • Unorganized marketing system resulting in quality deterioration and huge post-harvest losses;
  • Inadequate storage, processing facilities and packing technology, which in turn create gluts and severe shortages of these items during off season;
  • Lack of low cost, high quality packaging materials.
  • The poor state of the feeder roads also leads to significant losses during transportation to markets
  • Policies which do not encourage investment especially those related to land and taxes.

There is also an additional challenge (as well as opportunity). Climate variability is encouraging investment in irrigation, for which horticulture is well suited. However as studies have shown in the Pangani Water Basin (Northern Tanzania) the uncontrolled expansion of irrigation can exacerbate water stress and cause severe problems for downstream users.

Our approach

Enable Farmer Organisations to access structured trading systems

  • Support farmer organisations and Horticulture Associations to pilot inclusive business models which enable access to formal and informal /wholesale markets.
  • Support Horticulture Associations to work with ICT providers and innovators to enhance and expand the ICT systems for market information sharing, trading and accessing services .

Support institutionalisations of new approaches for Farmer Business Organisation capacity development

  • Pilot new approaches as part of Rikolto’s work with the Agribusiness Market Ecosystems Alliance e.g. the ICRA approach for supporting business cluster development. This will lead to more effective and sustainable ways of building capacity of Farmer Organisations and their business partners within a geographic area i.e. a cluster of businesses.
  • Support Horticulture Associations to develop and facilitate access to a pool of independent business development services to provide training in all kind of business activities (bookkeeping, management, marketing…). We focus on providing opportunities for rural youth.
  • Support development and test commercially viable and sustainable management models for farmers’ business organizations.
  • Supporting development of Food Safety standards and use of Good Agricultural Practices.
  • Supporting Arusha Safe Food Initiative.
  • Assessing environmental sustainability gaps and developing multi-actor environmental management plans to address critical issues (this includes the Irrigation Financing work with the Tanzania Horticulture Association which will address soil and water management)

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Rikolto established a partnership with Uganda Fruits and Vegetable Processors Association and is building on the strong results achieved in the past with Tanzania Horticulture Association. Together with these partners a fresh assessment of business opportunities has been conducted and business clusters have been chosen and initiated. These multi-stakeholder processes are expected to bring about coordinated action to enable the business potential to be realized. The clusters chosen contain a mixture of continued work with current farmer organization partners (e.g. MUVIKHO in Tanzania and Kwapa in Uganda) and new farmer organization partners.

When I received a call from MACE Foods, I quickly organised a business meeting between the farmers and the company for three reasons: Ironing out their grievances about the previous contractual period, conducting a cost benefit analysis of growing chili for new farmers and compare it to other value chains, and, lastly, agreeing on a few clauses to consolidate the new contract

Peter Businda - Agribusiness Advisor in Rikolto

Who do we work with?



Peter Businda

Food Smart City & Horticulture Agribusiness Advisor

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