In Tanzania agriculture is the mainstay of the national economy, with rice being one of the major foods and cash crops. For being the largest rice producer accounting for about 80% of total production in Eastern Africa. Approximately 80% of Tanzanians are employed in the agriculture sector, which accounts for half of the national income and three quarters of merchandise exports in the country. Smallholder farmers currently grow most of the rice, 74% are under rainfed conditions, rice under irrigation area is 20% and large-scale production 6%.
Despite the production improvements, rice subsector faces a lot of challenges that hinder its growth to reach its full potential. Major challenges that rice smallholder farmers are facing in Tanzania are limited access input supply, high productions cost, inadequate market, limited access to finance, yield and price fluctuation, and poor infrastructure such as shortage of standard warehouse.
Phema Agri aims to deploy its resources, value chain analysis expertise, monitoring and evaluation, and financing expertise to structure the value chain to facilitate a well-structured and sustainable rice value chain scalable to more farmers within the region. This will be a program for Phema Agri to unlock further marketing and financing for our target of 1,000 rice farmers in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania by 2023.