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 Kagera region. The Government has introduced a specialist agricultural revolution initiative namely Kilimo Kwanza which has opened up infinite investment opportunities for interested parties.
In Kagera region, there is a favourable climatic and weather conditions which enables traditional cash crops and food crop farming such as Coffee, Tobbacco, Cotton, Tea, Sugarcane, Spices, Maize, Bananas, Beans, Cassava, sunflower, vanilla, fruits, and vegetable to grow well in an arable and fertile land with irrigation potential from River Kagera and Lake Victoria basin. These crops are plenty in stock and can be used for the cross border or inter-regional trade.
Reasons for investing in Agriculture
• Kagera region offers a favourable climate which enables traditional cash crops and food crop farming.
• Availability of arable land is another reason why agriculture thrives in Kagera
• Availability of ample land resource for investment. The Kagera region has 39,258 Sq Km of which 28,513 Sq Km is land and 10,017 Sq Km is covered by water.
• Specific government intervention to ensure s rationalization and harmonization of land tenure system, as the current Nyarubanja Traditional Land System, which is dominant in the region, is one of the major obstacles to investment.
• Irrigation potential using waters from River Kagera and Lake Victoria basin offers opportunity for development and use of existing irrigation facilities.
• A ready market due to a large stock of quality produce that attracts cross border or inter-regional trade.
• There is a huge demand for quality horticultural produce in both local and international markets. Tanzania’s horticultural exports have increased substantially in recent years.
• Domestically there is still inconsistent supply of quality products making the country import fruits, vegetables and spices.
• There is an increased processing of fruits into juices that has led to an increased demand for the produce in the country.
• Local farmers have considerable experience in the production of these crops and could therefore be a reliable source of produce for processing plants.
Specific investment areas in agriculture
Horticulture: Different types of fruits can be grown in the region including passions, pineapples, avocados, bananas, mango, paw-paws. Other horticultural produce include onions, tomatoes, carrots, cabbages, and spinach. Investing in the horticulture is strategic as it is the fastest growing industry in Tanzania within the agricultural sector recording an annual average growth of 9-12 percent.
Cereal production: Maize (Biharamulo, Missenyi, Karagwe, Muleba and Bukoba), paddy, sorghum. Investing in large maize plantations will certainly be a profitable venture particularly if agro-processing sets in.
Roots and tuber production: Cassava, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, and yams.
Large scale farming: Kagera region is having a conducive climatic condition suitable for growing different types of crops in small farming scale and plantations. The region has an opportunity of establishing plantation for the following crops; Coffee (in all districts), Tea (in Bukoba and Muleba), bananas (in all districts), tobacco and cotton (in Biharamulo) and sugarcane (Missenyi districts).
Small scale farming: Cotton, tobacco, tea, coffee, sugarcane, bananas, sunflower (Missenyi), paddy, groundnuts, vanilla, maize, beans, sorghum, pigeon peas, yellow gums, chickpeas, cassava, cowpeas, green beans/small peas, (Ngara & Karagwe), irish potatoes.
Agro processing industries: Excellent investment opportunities exist in the area of food and beverages processing. Value addition to agricultural products as vanilla, groundnuts, beans, irish potatoes, cassava, mangoes and the likes will definitely bring returns.
Irrigation farming: The region possesses quite a range of irrigation investment potentials in all districts despite the fact that the regional climate is conducive with bi modal rainfall in a year.
Plantation operation: Kagera region offers suitable climate suitable for growing different types of crops in small farming scale and plantations. The region has an opportunity of establishing plantation for the following crops; Coffee (in all districts), Tea (in Bukoba and Muleba), bananas (in all districts), tobacco and cotton (in Biharamulo) and sugarcane (Missenyi districts).