The Tanzania Horticultural Association (TAHA) commends the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania for its significant efforts in advancing the agricultural sector, particularly the horticulture industry. Initiatives such as opening reliable regional and international markets, controlling the quality of agricultural products, and fostering investment have contributed to increased production, food sustainability, enhanced farmer incomes, and overall national revenue.

As part of the endeavors to safeguard the quality of agricultural products entering and leaving the country, the Ministry of Agriculture, through its institution, the Plant Health and Pesticides Authority (TPHPA), recently intercepted and detained a shipment of immature avocados imported from Kenya through the Namanga border. TAHA seizes this opportunity to congratulate the Ministry of Agriculture for promptly recognizing and preventing the entry of this shipment, thereby averting potential harm to the avocado trade. This action underscores the government’s commitment to combat illicit activities within the country’s crop trade, crucial in protecting Tanzania’s reputation as a hub for premium agricultural products in international markets.

TAHA strongly condemns fraudulent practices carried out by unscrupulous traders involved in the harvesting and transportation of immature or substandard avocados to international markets. Such criminal activities not only devalue the hard work of genuine producers and sellers but also jeopardize the substantial and long-term investments made in the agricultural sector.

TAHA urges the government to take swift action by convening relevant authorities responsible for plant health oversight from Tanzania and Kenya. The aim should be to address and devise a robust inspection system that prevents and eradicates these dishonest practices. In addition, TAHA advises both governments to take stringent measures against the traders involved in this incident, including revoking their agricultural business licenses.

Furthermore, we take this opportunity to counsel the private sector, especially farmers and exporters, to ensure compliance with market standards and adhere to national and international laws and regulations. Companies involved in the purchase and sale of immature avocados (and other crops) jeopardize the country’s prosperity, an intolerable situation. We recommend that companies seek accurate information on the proper procedures for the production, harvesting, and sale of avocados from the Ministry of Agriculture and TAHA.

TAHA continues to collaborate with the government and its authorities to develop the agricultural sector, particularly horticulture, contributing further to the economic development of our nation.

Issued by Chief Executive Officer TAHA, Dr. Jacqueline Mkindi

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