What we do


Chains in Tanzania

  • Cassava
  • Onion
  • Goat
  • Sunflower


Tanzania produces 6.8 million tonnes of cassava per year, which contributes to about 5.5% of the total cassava production worldwide and 14% of African production. Cassava is produced both for marketing  and for home consumption.

Cassava production in Mkuranga started to pick up in the past three years. After programme implementation by VECO Tanzania, acreage has increased from an average of 0.5-1 acre to 2 acres per farmer while the production doubled to an average of 4 tonnes per acre compared to the previous less than 2 tonnes per acre.


Sunflower is one of the most important oilseed crops in Tanzania. The potential of sunflower as a cash crop is demonstrated by the rapid annual increase in the number of farmers taking up production of the crop and the size of land converted for its production. VECO Tanzania has thus narrowed its intervention support in Chunya district to the sunflower subsector. Currently sunflower is competing favourably with maize and tobacco as a cash crop. In many of the 6 wards, it is the third preferred cash crop after maize and tobacco. It is estimated that around 30,000 people are involved in small scale farming in the district.


Onion (Allium cepa) is one of the most widely cultivated vegetables in the world. A global review of major vegetables show that onion ranks second to tomatoes in area under cultivation. In many growing regions, it is a major source of income for rural families who sell their produce in local, regional and international markets.

Onions are important horticultural products in the urban market in Tanzania, and their very high potential in some selected areas (northern and southern highlands and the central plateau) of the country cannot be overemphasized. VECO Tanzania is working with onion farmers in Simanjiro District, and the main ethnic groups represented are the Chagga, Pare and a few Maasai who have taken up a sedentary existence rather than a nomadic livelihood.

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The dominant ethnic group constitute 90% of the Maasai pastoralists.

In 2009 food production deficit were 25,000 tonnes of starch-based crops (maize, sorghum, and sweet potatoes) and 12,000 tonnes of protein-based crops. The district is encouraging each household to cultivate 4 acres of land; 2 acres for food and 2 acres for cash crops to ensure food and income security.

The traditional systems of the pastoralist does not abide with cultivation instead the majority sells off livestock for buying food crops. However, when hunger is too severe, HH of Simanjiro reduce the number of meals per day as a strategy as well.

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Goat production in Simanjiro District is mainly conducted under pastoralism. Under pastoralism goat husbandry is one of the most important sources of livelihood. Pastoralists have adapted to the reality of the dry lands that they occupy, and are able to make meaningful use of what are considered to be hardship areas to support their livelihoods. They have developed extensive traditional knowledge about their environment and have evolved survival techniques that are premised on flexibility in natural resource use, mobility and diversification of herds to insure against such eventualities as droughts, livestock rustling and disease outbreaks.

Currently, households belonging to goat commodity groups in VECO Tanzania programme area have increased profitability of goat production and marketing through improved production and marketing strategies.