The agriculture sector, as a whole in Tanzania has an annual growth rate of 6% and accounts for nearly half the GDP contribution, 70% of the rural household income, and absorbs 80% of the entire workforce. (TIC Investment Profile 2013-14). Suffice it to say that agriculture is the main investment opportunity in Mwanza region. The Government has introduced a specialist agricultural revolution initiative namely Kilimo Kwanza which has opened up infinite investment opportunities for interested parties.
Additionally, several reforms have been undertaken in this sector such as a review of land laws to allow for long term leases for foreign companies and redefining the role of government and private sector that allow for the latter to participate in production, processing, and public support functions. Mwanza has enormous water resources potential; with 53.25% of its area being lake Victoria. Water for irrigation can be obtained from the lake and from the river basins that feed into the lake.
Potential land under irrigation in Mwanza is approximately 39411 hectares of which only 1,429 (3.93%) hectares are under irrigation farming at present . This provides for high agricultural investment opportunities such as importing modern and efficient farming equipment, providing training on modern farming techniques eg. appropriate use of irrigation technology, and initiation of modernized irrigation farming projects.
Reasons for investment
•The presence of an investment profile that highlights opportunities in Mwanza.
•Market opportunity: with a rapidly growing population and rising incomes, the market for agricultural produce in Tanzania is estimated at 6% p.a.
•Mwanza’s competitive advantage - it lies in ideal soils for cotton production horticulture, ample rainfall and water for irrigation, and a large and inexpensive labour force.
Investments opportunities lie in introducing irrigation schemes as there is plenty of water from the lake and from ponds along the available numerous river valleys in the Region. As mentioned earlier only 3.93% of the total irrigable land is presently being utilized.
In Mwanza, about 94 Ha is available for irrigation farming for small scale farming. These unimproved irrigations schemes are in Kwimba District Council at Kimiza and Mahiga. With suitable weather conditions -bimodal rainfall (Between 700-1200mm) per year and temperatures between 25o – 28oC, an ample opportunity is provided for agricultural production. Further, the Mwanza enjoys the Lake Victoria and Simiyu River water bodies’ hence agricultural production can be carried throughout the year.
The horticultural industry is the fastest growing industry in Tanzania within the agricultural sector recording an annual average growth of 9-12 percent. Contribution of the investments in horticultural businesses to total agricultural investments has averaged 17 percent since 2007 . A number of investors are already engaged in the production and marketing of horticultural crops mainly for export markets. These crops include vegetables and flowers such as roses and fruits such as avocados, Mangoes, pineapples and berries
In Mwanza, about 140,000 Ha along Lake Victoria (in Nyamagana, Ilemela, Kwimba, Magu, Sengerema, Ukerewe and Misungwi.) is suitable for horticultural crop production particularly through Green house farming for vegetables such as tomatoes, onion, carrot, cabbages, green and chillies.