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.

On The Ground



Coffee Initiative

The Coffee Initiative worked with local farmers in East Africa to improve agronomy and business practices, establish new coffee cooperatives and strengthen existing ones, and help cooperatives create business plans and access financing for wet mills.
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Partners in Food Solutions-TechnoServe Alliance

The Partners in Food Solutions (PFS)-TechnoServe Alliance matches the expertise of leading global food companies with the needs of African-based food processing companies in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia.
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East Africa Dairy Development

The East Africa Dairy Development (EADD) program is designed to boost the milk yields and incomes of small-scale farmers so they can lift their families and communities out of poverty. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and implemented in partnership with Heifer International, the second phase of EADD aims to help 136,000 smallholder farming families in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania sustainably improve their livelihoods by 2018, while stimulating income growth for an additional 400,000 secondary beneficiaries.
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Strengthening Rural Youth Development through Enterprise

TechnoServe is partnering with The MasterCard Foundation to help rural young people ages 18 to 30 in East Africa transition to economic independence.
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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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Mobile Savings for Women Entrepreneurs

Women in developing countries often lack access to formal savings accounts, creating challenges for female entrepreneurs. TechnoServe, in partnership with Vodacom, the World Bank and the Center for Global Development, is currently implementing a $2 million, two-year program funded by ExxonMobil Foundation in Tanzania and Mozambique. Business Women Connect, which began in October 2015, has two objectives. First, it aims to increase business income and economically empower female micro-business owners in Tanzania by introducing them to mobile savings and conducting business training. Secondly, using a randomized control trial led by the World Bank, the project will rigorously evaluate the impact of these interventions. Business Women Connect will work with approximately 5,000 businesswomen in the Mbeya and Dodoma Regions of Tanzania. The project will also undertake a market diagnostic of the mobile savings sector in Mozambique and the potential to replicate the program in that market

Linking Grain Farmers to Markets

Staple crops like maize, soy and bean can provide much more than just subsistence for smallholders, they can also increase income, create jobs and improve food security. The Storage and Proper Post-Harvest Improvements for Resource Efficiency (SAPPHIRE) program, funded by the DFID, worked to capitalize on the potential of maize and increase incomes for farmers through increasing productivity and improved aggregation. The project reached nearly 30,000 smallholder maize farmers -- 50 percent of whom are women -- in Mbeya and Ruvuma regions with training on improved agronomic and post-harvest practices. TechnoServe has also supported agricultural marketing cooperative societies in credit applications and contracts with an input distributor to help provide farmers with access to improved inputs. In addition, TechnoServe worked with these same agricultural marketing cooperative societies, representing 28 warehouses in total, improving their capacity to market maize whilst navigating the complex maize marketing environment. As SAPPHIRE II has drawn to a close, it has succeeded in formally capturing learnings, transitioning warehouse capacity building to entities supporting the maize sector and in facilitating private sector buyer linkages with a number of participant farming communities"



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.



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.



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 reconnected with Tanzania’s cocoa producers. TechnoServe, supported by a grant from Irish Aid, has trained more than 13,000 farmers to adopt good agricultural practices and seen production increases of greater of 50 percent. Sixty-six farmer business groups have been established and trained to process high-quality cocoa through better post-harvest handling, and many of these groups are now receiving price premiums of more than 20 percent above the prevailing market price. The cocoa exporters, input suppliers, and governments in cocoa-growing districts are serving as key partners for TechnoServe. TechnoServe has partnered with the national government and other stakeholders to develop a Tanzanian National Cocoa Development Strategy and will continue to the work with the industry to reach the Strategy’s targets. The current phase of the projects adopts a market systems facilitation approach and aims to increase government, input supplier, and exporter investment in farmer productivity to sustain the production improvements that TechnoServe and Irish Aid have helped to create.


Irish Aid



Blog Posts

September 29, 2016

Happy Coffee Day: Planting Seeds for the Future

From El Salvador to Tanzania, smallholder coffee farmers like Dora and Gerard are improving the quality of their coffee and investing in a better future for their families.

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August 11, 2016

Agriculture as Business for Rural Youth

Armed with the right skill set, young people in Tanzania are discovering the potential within agribusiness for profitable livelihoods.

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August 8, 2016

In Tanzania, a School Built with Coffee

How two brothers are using their coffee-farming income to sow the seeds of knowledge in their community.

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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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