British High Commissioner to Tanzania, Diane Corner, has visited one of the 14 agribusiness projects funded by the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) in Tanzania.
A statement availed this paper yesterday asserted the envoy’s Friday visit to the ‘Green Gold’ a commercial farming project which is being supported by the UK aid’s Department for International Development (DFID) and run by the Rungwe Avocado Company (RAC) in Rungwe, Mbeya region.
It said through the project, RAC is already developing a commercial avocado growing, packing, processing and exporting business in the tea growing area of the southern highlands.
Corner was delighted to visit the innovative project which has introduced avocadoes as a smallholder cash crop for the export market.
“One of the priorities of the UK's multi-faceted partnership with Tanzania includes finding ways to improve the environment for trade and investment between our countries. I am glad to see that the Rungwe avocado project has improved the business environment for smallholder farmers by linking them to processors and markets in the region and in Europe,” stated the High Commissioner.
The High Commissioner encouraged Tanzanians and international companies to take full advantage of the available funding from AECF, which opened on 5th July 2012, the TZAW Round 2 which is a funding competition exclusive to agribusinesses in Tanzania that promise large communal impact.
TZAW Round 2 will co-fund successful applicants with grants and repayable grants between US$100,000 and US$1m. TZAW Round 2 will close on August 5th this year.
The competition is dedicated to support ideas in agribusiness and associated service sectors, rural financial services and value chains extending from rural Tanzania to local and international markets. Businesses qualified for funding should be commercially viable and have a positive impact on the rural poor delivering increased employment, reduced costs and improved productivity.
African and international for-profit companies are eligible to apply as long as the projects are implemented in Tanzania.
The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) is a US$150m private sector fund backed by some of the biggest names in development finance and hosted by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). They work to encourage private sector companies compete for investment support for their new and innovative business ideas.