Success Story

The value of Agricultural Research

ASPIRES Tanzania under the auspices of Michigan State University has been keen in undertaking research studies that have had direct impact to the public including policy makers, researchers, traders, and farmers in the country. During the past year ASPIRES ventured into research on the horticultural sub-sector mainly because of the potential of this subsector in terms of accelerating economic growth due to its high value outputs but also due to its inclusivity in enabling economic empowerment to marginalized groups in the community. One of the horticultural studies that was conducted by ASPIRES this past year looked at the nature of fruits and vegetables consumption in the country. The study showcased the kind of fruits and vegetables that were consumed by a typical Tanzanian household both in Rural and Urban areas. Among highlighted key results presented during the 6th Annual Agricultural Policy Conference in 2019, showed that Bananas were among the top 3 most consumed fruits across households. This revelation would in a few months turn to be a key turning point for a youth led agribusiness company GBRI Business Solutions that was struggling with business due to the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on exports of
fresh fruits and vegetables from Tanzania. This revelation guided the company to decide to adapt from its core business of exporting horticultural produce to focus on the domestic market of bananas.

“…The research results were the basis for my decision to redirect my company’s business to quickly identify a strategic value chain, imagine, banana!! during a time of crisis. The banana venture kept my company afloat in business during the pandemic and surprisingly, is bringing in significant revenue…”

She added,

“Really, research results should leave dusty shelves, be synthesized into clear, simple, and handy material, and disseminated to beneficiaries for our informed decision making. Someone’s life might just be transformed”.

Quoting the MD of GBRI Ms. Hadija Jabiri.