More than 15 vendors took part in the first market, and since then the number has risen to more than 20. Farmers and vendors came from Dar es Salaam and further afield to sell vegetables, spices, jams, desserts, pastries and much more.
Visitors included locals, tourists and expatriates based in Dar. The markets are held in collaboration with Italian NGO CEFA (European Committee for Training and Agriculture) which promotes interventions in rural electrification, water supply, and agriculture.
Visitors remarked they had not been aware of what a variety of locally-produced food the country has to offer – Chocolate Mamas, for example, is Tanzania’s first and only indigenous producer of fine chocolate whose products are sold all over the country and in Nairobi, Kenya.
An urban farming group of 20 retired women got together six years ago to “revive the almost-lost culture of eating foods and vegetables indigenous to Tanzania.” Their plants and vegetables proved extremely popular and the market enabled them to more than triple their average daily sales.
Upendo food processors, based on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam, specialize in dried fruits, honey, and cassava and millet flour. The Farmers Market yielded an unexpected business opportunity for them, when they were approached and asked to provide training on fruit drying from an organization looking to expand business.
Africraft, an organization supporting and promoting handicrafts in Tanzania by providing local craftsmen chances to manufacture and market their products, teamed up with growers of the local moringa plant – native to parts of Africa and Asia - to sell moringa powder at the market, which is used as a nutrient-rich supplement.
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