Tanzania: Vegetable traders should focus on Middle Eastern markets

World Vegetable Centre Regional Director Gabriel Rugalema said there was high demand for a variety of vegetables, including cabbage, spinach and chard in the transcontinental region in Afro-Eurasia. "When farmers cultivate and sell vegetables, they increase their incomes because vegetables are high value crops," he said. "This rise in personal incomes contributes to the national economy as well," Rugalema explained.

According to Rugalema, the Tanzanian government has created an enabling environment for traders to export their produce overseas, urging them to utilise such an opportunity. He mentioned South Africa, Kenya and Ghana as countries whose economies depended on exports, mainly vegetables.

"Tanzania has enough local experts to grow vegetables," he said. "With greater government emphasis on horticulture, farmers can get seeds, inputs and the knowledge they need to produce vegetables and uplift their livelihoods." He added that accessing affordable quality seeds was one of the major challenges facing vegetable farmers.

According to dailynews.co.tz, the World Vegetable Centre holds Africa's largest collection of vegetable seeds, with more than 3,000 samples—including more than 2,400 samples of nutritious traditional African vegetables such as amaranth, spider plant, Ethiopian kale and African eggplant.

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