Few people enjoy discussing agriculture in society and many people even believe it is not a field that educated people should dabble into and agricultural-related jobs are termed “Brown Collar Jobs”. But this thought in people’s minds is causing more harm than good because agriculture is one of the major sectors that drives many economies and without it, we will not meet the basic human needs. The pioneer that ensures that the agricultural market in Tanzania affects not only one location but should affect the global setting is Jacqueline Mkindi.

JACQUELINE MKINDI is a Tanzanian, born in January 1977. With an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration and Enterprises from the Africa Graduate University, Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the Eastern and Southern Africa Management Institute (ESAMI) and a B.Sc. in Forestry and Nature Conservation from the Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) in Morogoro, Tanzania where she was awarded first-class honours, Jacqueline grounds herself strongly. Ms Jacqueline has ingrained herself into the agricultural market as a professional business manager who practices the management of agricultural business and negotiations that have to do with growth challenges in agriculture. She is the face of the horticultural industry transformation in Tanzania.

Who she is and her achievements

She is the CEO of TAHA, a horticultural industry and she is also the Chairperson of the Boards of TAHA subsidiaries. So far, she has influenced the market for flower production and exportation from Tanzania to the EU Markets. Jacqueline is also the founding leader and member of the Horticultural Council for Africa. She has previously worked as a Tutorial Assistant at Sokoine University of Agriculture and at the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) as a Park Ecologist.

She has successfully supervised the move of cargo freighters into Tanzania to lift horticultural produce to the international market and when she did this in 2020, she was able to save a lot of businesses and jobs in Tanzania.

Her organization TAHA has been a major driving force for employment and income generation for over 500 households in Tanzania.

Jacqueline is a major participant in the event that led to the addressing of the cross border trade issue that championed the removal of the import levy on vegetables and the lifting of the cut flower import ban by the Kenyan Government. She pioneered the idea of establishing the Agribusiness Confederation for East Africa (ACEA) to promote borderless agribusiness trade and investment within member states. She has been able to work in partnership with USAID, USDA, EU, International Trade Centre (ITC), the Dutch, Belgian and Finnish governments and others to gain support for horticultural development.

TAHAFRESH Handling Ltd was also an idea she put great effort in establishing and she has gained a lot from it in that garden crops with no economic value grew to become a main agricultural sub-sector in Tanzania.

Because of her involvement and contributions to using horticulture, it has been recognized as one of the key priority industries in the Tanzania government’s development frameworks.

Her ideas have given her access to various innovations. The innovations led to the increase in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and the production level increased and now some scarce foods are now commonplace amongst families in Tanzania. Now the horticultural development and business of Tanzania have been handed to TAHA.

Currently, she is the sitting Chairperson of the Tanzania Agriculture Council (ACT) and a board member for the Tanzania Trade Development Authority (TanTrade).

In 2014, she received the Tanzanian Women Achievement Award (TWAA), later in 2017, she was recognized by the Clouds Media Group as ‘Malika wa Nguvu’, an award to mark her as the most influential woman for the year in the Agricultural sector. She got East Africa’s Women Leadership Award in 2019, for championing the rapid growth of a multi-million dollar horticultural industry in Tanzania.

2021 saw her get listed alongside three other women and singled out of 100 Tanzania’s top chief executives who did extremely well amongst peers in the corporate world during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

The reason for it all

“It is all about your team: It is all about people, it is not about vehicles, it’s not about infrastructure. It’s about people!”…Jacqueline Mkindi

Jacqueline delved deeper into the horticultural field to make things better for the people. She takes up endless challenges every day so she can create opportunities.

Though she faced the issue of funding and human resources, she continued forging ahead and made her vision take form. She believes that everyone can be empowered and she hinges on this fact and trains people to acquire various skills that can help them do well in their chosen field.

“When you are empowered with right knowledge and skills you can be flexible and dynamic to navigate through the demanding business environment” … Jacqueline Mkindi

She aims to challenge and guide youths to become great leaders and people of substance.

Jacqueline Mkindi has impacted agriculture in Tanzania and she has even influenced many governmental decisions to help the people. For her, it is all about the people and nothing else. People matter, lives matter, people should be empowered so they can be independent and forge good things for themselves.  

Written By: Joyce C. Nwezeh Obi-Akejelu (Writer, Social media manager and graphic designer with Africa4AfricaWomen/Assert/PAWES).


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