Africado Ltd. - Muviwapasi Association Africado - Real Tanzanian development in real-time

Africado Ltd. is an agricultural company that was established in 2007 and grows and exports avocados. It is based in Northern Tanzania and specializes in the Hass variety. The farm is situated at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, where the fruit is grown on the deep, well drained, red volcanic soil common in the area. The soils and the climate found at Kilimanjaro are ideal for avocado production. The company plans to grow other varieties of avocado and to diversify to other crops, e.g. blueberries (currently in a trial phase) and macadamia nuts.

Africado Ltd. has directly and indirectly created employment for the local communities. It has provided a cash crop that is an alternative to coffee, the traditional crop found in the region, which gives poor returns and has declined due to global price fluctuations. The pilot program for planting avocados with smallholder farmers was carried out in 2010. Initially, the program was not well received by the local people, as they were familiar with local low-quality seedling avocados. Villagers considered avocado as a low value crop without a decent market and regarded it as a worthless fruit that was fed to their pigs. To ensure a successful implementation of the project, the company developed training materials, written documents and video training to provide smallholders with information on the growing and market requirements for quality and food safety compliance. Africado also developed a traceability data system for the smallholder farmers in a database, with all the farmers’ details and the respective GPS coordinates, and also prepared the G.A.P. (Good Agricultural Practice) training materials and conducted trainings. In doing so, Africado has now already fulfilled the UNs Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 of “ ensuring that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles.”

The commercialization of a traditional low-value crop and opening up of export markets to small-scale farmers has brought in a new source of income for small farmers and Tanzania. “ GLOBALG.A.P. Certification has created employment and small-scale farmers are ensured their revenues. This is real development in real-time,” explains Festus Nkuru, Outgrower Manager at Africado.

A Senior Auditor from DNV-GL, Mr. Eric Munene Nkanata, gave the following compliments: “I want to congratulate you for the extraordinary work done on your out-grower scheme and say that I was very impressed with the tremendous effort you have put in place for the systems. It was an almost perfect system which others could learn from as it is not common to see such good systems elsewhere in the region. Your field officers have done a very good job, so they should keep it up. ”

In establishing a nucleus farm at Kifufu Estate, Africado Ltd. has introduced modern irrigation systems and water harvesting techniques and given small scale farmers in the neighboring villages the opportunity to grow a new export crop. Africado has a catchment area of a 200 km radius, spread in nine districts of Northern Tanzania, where over 2000 small-scale farmers grow and supply avocado for Africado Ltd. The company provides training, export markets and an opportunity for a reliable source of income for farmers growing avocados.

The success of Africado saw its hitherto high point in 2016 when it won the G.A.P. Award. “For Africado this is amazing,” explains Festus Nkuru. “We are the first in the country and the second in the continent. This shows how doing the right thing at the right time can have a great influence."