Growing Innovative Entrepreneurs through Action Research in the Agribusiness Value Chains in Tanzania


Start date: 1 January, 2013 End date: 31 December, 2016 Project type: Pilot research cooperation projects (prior to 2013) Project code: 12-P01-TAN Countries: Tanzania Thematic areas: Economic development and value chains, Lead institution: Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), Tanzania Partner institutions: University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark Aalborg University (AAU), Denmark Project website: go to website (the site might be inactive) Policy Brief: Policy Brief Project coordinator: Anna Andrew Temu Total grant: 4,965,799 DKK Project files:

Project summary

This project focuses on creation of  innovative and growth oriented entrepreneurs in the processing and distribution of dried fruits and vegetables to contribute to both, reduction of  post harvest losses and creation of more employment avenues for university graduates.

Its rationale is based on both, need for investment in agriculture to improve productivity, and value addition (The Agriculture First “Kilimo Kwanza” initiative), and need for engaging Tanzanians in  private sector activities through entrepreneurial undertakings, and finally need for utilisation of research findings i.e. link between research and business.

The “Kilimo Kwanza” initiative is newly Tanzania-private sector initiated campaign for investment in agriculture. It has become the government development agenda integrated to the several national development strategies and policies. For example, the Kilimo Kwanza campaign is now an integral part of the National Strategy for Growth and Poverty reduction (MKUKUTA), The National Business Formalization Programme (MKURABITA) and the National policy on Small and Medium Scale Enterprises all of which have a bearing on facilitating the private sector growth. Overall, the campaign focuses on among others, value addition through effective and efficient processing and distribution of agricultural products with the aim of reducing post harvest losses of such crops as fruits and vegetables and facilitation of development of entreprises along the value chain for employment creation and economic growth.  The proposed extension project will contribute to both agribusiness sector development through new agrifood value chain creation and to the private sector growth by creating  entrepreneurs through incubation.

The big post harvest loses indicate a need for appropriate technologies that are able to reduce the loss quantitatively and qualitatively. Although having appropriate technologies is a necessary condition, it is not sufficient for business to be successfully established and grow. There should therefore be in place the right framework that include the business owners and operators (actors in the value chain) with entrepreneurial mind and skills to start and run and upgrade value chain activities (the business). This is because the value chain creation (business set-up) should be in such a way that the entrepreneur is central while technology and other business environment becomes enabling factors. The actors in the value chain must also be effectively and efficiently linked. In this situation the business will thus require another sufficient condition namely appropriate institutional linkages along the value chain with similar goals such as to: Reduce post harvest losses, improve food quality and safety, and ensure regular supply of required quantity, meet conditions that are critical in gaining access to markets and profit maximization and growth to sustain the business.

One of the conditions is food/product quality and safety. It is the critical factor for gaining access to many international, domestic and urban markets, especially for high value products such as fruits and vegetables. Dried fruit and vegetable processors need constant supplies of fresh fruits and the acquisition of appropriate drying techniques in order to achieve and maintain production of quality products.The pilot project identified appropriate drying technologies for bananas, mangoes, pineapples and tomatoes as key technologies in which research and capacity building efforts on the above lines should produce most benefits. The focus will now be on optimisation and use of the technology to create entrepreneurs within agribusiness subsector.

The project is relevant to Tanzania as it adds to the creation of growth oriented entrepreneurs who eventually develop a vibrant private sector. It will improve the teaching curriculum on entrepreneurship in the tertiary education institutes, and it will enhance establishment of entrepreneurial firms along agribusiness value chain which will in turn enhance food security, improve farmer’s access to markets through product development. As shown above all these are in line with a number of national policies, campaigns, programmes, strategies and priorities.

Based on these rationale and relevance the project intends to generate information and knowledge to support development of viable enterprises along the fruits and vegetables value chain. Thus all the scientific and business studies will be focused on the establishment of enterprises with appropriate linkages along the value chain thus value chain development.  In line with this, the project will build capacity of Tanzanian institutions through training of staff and support for student research projects through research fellowships. In line with project objective on development of student- entrepreneur value chain, the project will build capacity of the department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness in developing a framework for entrepreneurship development through couching, training and business incubation.


Project completion report:

Scientific output: we envisaged to publish a minimum of five scholarly article in various areas. These were the publications activity 2016:

1. Mongi, R.J., Ndabikunze, B.K., Wicklund, T., Chove, L.M., and Chove, B.E (2015).
Effect of solar drying methods on total phenolic contents and antioxidant activity of
commonly consumed fruits and vegetable (mango, banana, pineapple and tomato) in Tanzania. African Journal of Food Science 9(5): 291-300

2. Khakimov , B., Mongi, R.J., Sørensen, K.M., Ndabikunze, B.K., Chove, B.E and
Engelsen, S.B (2016). A comprehensive and comparative GC–MS metabolomics study of nonvolatiles in Tanzanian grown mango, pineapple, jackfruit, baobab and tamarind fruits. Food Chemistry 213 (2016): 691–699.

3. Daniel Ndyetabula, Olav Sorensen, Anna Temu (2016) Agribusiness development and the role of value chain business associations: The case of dried fruits and vegetables in Tanzania. African Journal of Economic and Management Studies Vol 7 No. 4, 2016.

4. Daniel Ndyetabula, Abdalla Mmeta and Anna Temu “The Role of ICT Products in
Agricultural and Agribusiness Value Chain Development in Tanzania. The Case of Tanga Fresh Limited (TFL).” was accepted for publication in a book to be published by Routledge, an imprint of the Taylor and Francis Group, under the title: Marketing Management in Africa. Most likely it will have a publication date of 2018.

5. Nandonde, F.A. and Kuada, J. Perspectives of retailers and local food suppliers on the evolution of modern retail in Africa. British Food Journal (We are working on reviewers comments)

Development output: the project contributed to the enhancement of creation of growth oriented entrepreneurs by nurturing graduates who are potential entrepreneurs through training, internship and incubation process, a five step process developed within the project.

This has shown to spur agrifood processing value addition in fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious products. SUGECO, an organization that was developed to support students entrepreneurship has grown and became a good example in technology transfer and community development support over time. The extension project had managed to support business startups mainly in three lines, (fruit juice, nutritious foods (baked goods, flour) and pineapple). The lines are owned and run by youth; the processors are linked to farmers (suppliers) and intermediary traders who supplies raw materials to the incubator.Capacity building: One PhD-candidate staff in the department of business studies at SUA completed a PhD in Business Management and he is back at SUA as lecturer and researcher. PhD thesis titled: Integrating local food suppliers in modern food retail in Africa: The case of Tanzania. Defense date: 21/12/2016.

The project also contribution to the development of a entrepreneurship training program. This was undertaken by Postdoc fellow, Daniel Ndyetabula in collaboration with SUGECO.

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