As a relatively new market economy, Tanzania is still testing how business is done in a free market. Many farmers and other small business owners remain highly risk averse, and even the most compelling opportunity can be rejected.

However, there is a growing portfolio of successful Tanzanian businesses, which is helping to attract investors and new enterprises. Nearly 90 percent of Tanzania's residents live in rural areas, work primarily in the agricultural sector and lack access to information, technology and markets.

For more than 20 years, TechnoServe has been working in Tanzania with farmers, cooperatives, suppliers and processors to strategically develop competitive industries around key crops, including cash crops such as cocoa and coffee and staples such as maize and rice. We are helping farmers make the transition from subsistence to commercial production, assisting processors to improve operations and identifying opportunities for investment in agriculture. We are also supporting the diversification of Tanzania's economy through entrepreneurship programs that empower men and women to create thriving small- and medium-sized businesses in a variety of sectors.


To date, TechnoServe has supported 700,000 farmers and small business owners in Tanzania. TechnoServe is also providing leadership on the creation of the first ever national strategy for cocoa development.


Tomato Farmers Reach New Markets in Tanzania

Martha Mtenda once struggled to make a living through her half-acre farm in the village of Mbigili in Iringa, a region in Tanzania's Southern Highlands.

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Brewing Good

Our Coffee Initiative is helping East African farmers to build better lives, one coffee bean at a time.

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Higher Coffee Incomes Transform Lives in Tanzania

TechnoServe works with coffee farmers to produce higher-quality beans for the premium coffee market.

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On The Ground



Connected Farmer Alliance

The Connected Farmer Alliance (CFA) is a public-private partnership that seeks to promote commercially sustainable mobile agriculture solutions and increase productivity and revenues for 500,000 smallholder farmers across Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique. The program also aims to increase revenues for agribusinesses and agricultural value chain service providers.
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Reviving Cocoa in Tanzania

Cocoa production began in Tanzania in the late 1960s, yet has not been significantly promoted or developed as a cash crop in the past 40 years. With global demand for cocoa rising and West Africa encountering challenges in its cocoa production, buyers have begun to reconnect with Tanzania’s cocoa producers. TechnoServe, supported by a grant from Irish Aid, is working with farmers to improve post-harvest handling and better position farmer groups as credible sellers. The governments in cocoa-growing districts are serving as key partners for TechnoServe, helping to develop a stakeholder platform for the various actors in the sector. TechnoServe is also leading a working group to draft the National Strategy for Cocoa Development in Tanzania.


Irish Aid



Boosting Fortified Foods

TechnoServe is working with small- and medium-sized maize, rice and sunflower oil processors to increase the supply of, and demand for, nutritious and fortified foods. The project will work with more than 1,000 business owners in Morogoro, Dodoma and Manyara Region to build capacity for fortification by assisting the processors with operations, access to finance, formulation, packaging and marketing. This market-based solutions project is known locally as “Tuboreshe Chakula” (Improved Food), and is funded under the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Feed the Future initiative.



Expanding Specialty Coffee

As part of its regional Coffee Initiative, TechnoServe is helping small-scale farmers increase their incomes by producing higher-quality coffee for the lucrative specialty coffee market. TechnoServe helps farmers to organize into business groups, obtain credit and install processing equipment. We also train farmers to use the equipment and improve their farming practices. Our Tanzanian coffee work to date has helped increase farmers’ incomes by $1 million a year, partly by enabling them to sell directly to overseas buyers such as Starbucks and Peet's Coffee & Tea.



Facilitating Cotton Extension Services

Extension services are an important feature in improving cotton production for farmers in the Lake Victoria region of northwest Tanzania. TechnoServe has worked closely with district governments to support the growth of the cotton sector in Tanzania focused on building local understanding of a contract farming model. The geography includes nearly 400,000 cotton farmers and more than 20 cotton ginners.



Connecting Farmers with Mobile Services

TechnoServe and Tigo, one of the largest mobile network operators in Tanzania, have joined forces on the mFarmer program to improve farmers’ livelihoods through improved access to actionable information on mobile phones. With initial funding from the GSM Association, TechnoServe and Tigo have developed Tigo Kilimo, a sustainable product to disseminate high-quality, reliable information through the mobile phone. Farmers using Tigo Kilimo can access market price, weather and agronomy information through text and voice channels. Tigo Kilimo will reach 500,000 Tanzania farmers by December 2013.



Promoting Sustainable Mobile Solutions

TechnoServe, Vodafone and the U.S. Agency for International Development have formed the Connected Farmer Alliance to develop and launch sustainable mobile agriculture solutions that benefit smallholder farmers and agribusinesses. This innovative public-private partnership will reach 500,000 farmers across Kenya, Mozambique and Tanzania. The three-year program, which started in September 2012, will work to (1) develop business-to-business services to allow agribusiness to increase transparency and lower their cost of doing business with smallholder farmers; (2) design, test, and launch new mobile money services allow rural customers to reduce financial risks and to save and invest; and (3) incubate a new generation of mobile value-added services targeting the agriculture sector in a sustainable way.



Improving Cashew Production and Processing

TechnoServe worked with a range of partners – including global cashew industry leader Olam International Limited – to develop a competitive cashew industry in Tanzania. The program, completed in 2010, organized farmers into business groups, helping them to produce higher-quality nuts and linking them to premium markets. Fiscal reforms allowed one cashew processing plant to reopen, preserving more than 1,000 jobs and a market for 14,000 farmers. TechnoServe also championed policies that create opportunities for small-scale farmers and promote domestic processing of raw cashew nuts.



Linking Grain Farmers to Markets

The Storage and Proper Post-Harvest Improvements for Resource Efficiency (SAPPHIRE) program is working to increase incomes for 20,000 smallholder maize and rice farmers in the Mbeya Region. Better post-harvest handling will increase the value of grain crops, and improved access to storage will reduce losses. In addition, the SAPPHIRE program is improving warehouse receipt systems, enabling more efficient marketing, increasing access to credit for inputs and developing linkages between farmers and the national food market.



Blog Posts

October 28, 2014

Transcending Boundaries in Agriculture: The Connected Farmer Alliance

Creative mobile solutions are addressing major challenges in the agriculture industry, providing benefits for both farmers and agribusinesses.

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October 15, 2014

A New Agreement Will Support Tanzanian Farmers Through Mobile Technology

Under its first commercial agreement, the Connected Farmer Alliance – a public-private partnership that promotes sustainable mobile solutions for agriculture – seeks to help 30,000 smallholder farmers in Tanzania improve their livelihoods.

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September 29, 2014

Photo of the Week: Happy Coffee Day!

We join in celebrating the world’s most popular beverage – and the coffee farming families who make it possible.

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TechnoServe Tanzania

TechnoServe Tanzania
Coco Plaza 3rd Floor
Plot 254 Toure Drive
PO Box 78375
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Tel: +255 222 600455
Fax: +255 222 600466

Alexandra Mandelbaum

Country Director




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