Mango growers in Tanzania can only manage to meet the market demand of the crop both within the country and overseas, if they will produce at least 5 per cent of the current global demand.
Hamad Mkopi, an agronomist with the Association of Mango Growers (AMAGRO) made the remarks yesterday after the three day Mango Tasting Festival that took place at Mnazi Mmoja grounds in Dar es Salaam on Saturday.
“Mango growers should raise crop production because the demand for the fruit is still high and the cultivation capacity still remains very low,” he said.
Highlighting on the global market demand, he said, at the moment, mango demand from Tanzania are between 100 and 200 tonnes of mangoes a week, while the domestic market buys 100 tonnes per week for industrial processing. At least 15,000 tonnes are needed for processing locally in one season, he said.
He said although mango growers are working hard to raise production in their farms, still Tanzania has not managed to supply as many mangoes as required both for the domestic and global markets.
“At present Tanzania produce about 372,000 tonnes of mangoes per year that is very small when compared to the market demand and the industries depending on the crop to produce different products in the country,” he noted.
Of the total production, 87 percent have no quality for export, he added.
Apart from that presently Tanzania produces only 1 percent of the global mango demand and “due to this we ask the growers to raise production so as to meet the ever rising market demand,” he said.
“To meet this initiative, AMAGRO in collaboration with Bakhersa Food Products plan to provide training to mango growers countrywide to help them raise the quality of the crop and meet the required demand,” he noted.
In 2012 Bakhersa Food Products purchased 15,000 tonnes of mangoes worth 3bn/- from different regions in the country to help mango growers have a reliable market for their fruits, he said, adding that the company’s intervention will enable the farmers raise their income and reduce post harvest fruit losses due to lack of processing technologies.
“Although Bakhersa buys our mangoes, still the demand remains very big,” he said adding that the firm has vowed to work together with AMAGRO to train the farmers on modern farming so as to help them produce high quality mangoes capable of winning markets overseas.
“Our intension was just to help us increase the production capacity so that we can meet the internal market demand even before we go overseas,” he noted.
“Discussions on how to implement the programme is underway between AMAGRO and Bakhressa Group of companies,” he noted.
“The discussion was made during my working visit at his firm located at Mwandege in Mkuranga District, in Coiast Region to study the mango demand the firm is experiencing,” he said.