Tanzania: Initiative to Combat Food Loss: Tuhifadhi Chakula

Tanzania is confronting one of its most pressing challenges – food loss and waste, with “Tuhifadhi Chakula” (“Let’s Save Food”) initiative which was announced on August 8, 2023.

The nation has sets its sights on transforming its agricultural landscape. This ambitious five-year project, backed by a $24 million investment from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented in partnership with the Tanzania Horticultural Association (TAHA) and the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) Center, is a seeks to improve food security, livelihoods, employment, and export opportunities, particularly among women and youth.

Addressing the Core of the Issue

Food loss and waste stand as formidable barriers to food security and environmental sustainability worldwide, with profound impacts felt strongly in Tanzania. Tuhifadhi Chakula addresses this issue head-on by targeting the inefficiencies within horticultural and cereal value chains that lead to significant post-harvest losses. The initiative’s comprehensive approach spans five production regions (Mbeya, Njombe, Morogoro, Tanga, and Pwani) and five Market Sheds (Dar-es-Salaam, Dodoma, Arusha, Kilimanjaro, and Zanzibar), focusing on enhancing food handling, storage, and value addition practices.

By breaking down policy-related barriers and facilitating a seamless flow from production to market, Tuhifadhi Chakula aims not only to improve market access and optimize production but also to make a significant contribution toward mitigating greenhouse gas emissions – a critical step in the fight against climate change.

A Strategy for Sustainable Impact

The strategy behind Tuhifadhi Chakula is meticulously crafted, with objectives that promise a sustainable impact on Tanzania’s agricultural sector. These include the improvement of food handling and storage, the facilitation of market access, the advocacy for beneficial policy and regulatory frameworks, and the strengthening of local organizations’ post-harvest management capabilities.

The initiative’s expected outcomes are as diverse as they are significant. From facilitating access to climate-smart technologies and quality inputs to attracting private sector investments and expanding the market base, Tuhifadhi Chakula sets a comprehensive roadmap for sustainable agricultural development. Moreover, it addresses policy and operational constraints that contribute to food loss and waste, ensuring the availability and operation of market support infrastructure.

Empowering the Youth and Women

One of the most commendable aspects of Tuhifadhi Chakula is its focus on empowering youth and women in the agricultural sector. With plans to enable over 370,000 youths and 279,000 women to engage in agriculture trade, from farming to value addition and accessing reliable markets, the project aims to improve livelihoods significantly. By setting ambitious targets to reduce post-harvest losses – from 30-40% to 15% for horticultural crops and from 13% to 7% for cereals – Tuhifadhi Chakula demonstrates a commitment to making tangible changes in the lives of Tanzanians and the sustainability of its agriculture.

The Tuhifadhi Chakula initiative is using collaborative approach, leveraging partnerships with local organizations, the private sector, to showcases the power of collective action in addressing global challenges such as food security and climate change.

As this project unfolds over the next five years, it promises to bring about a transformation in Tanzania’s agricultural sector. By tackling food loss and waste at its roots, Tuhifadhi Chakula paves the way for a future where food security and environmental sustainability go hand in hand, offering lessons and inspiration for other nations grappling with similar challenges.

SAGCOT’s involvement brings to the table a broad network of partners from the public and private sectors, as well as civil society, all working together to stimulate agricultural growth in the southern corridor of Tanzania.