The story of Hussein

‘An ongoing ambition to grow’

Hussein Alloo is Director of Ecoveg in Tanzania. The company continues to seize growth opportunities in fresh food products, step by step. One factor underlying these opportunities is the rise of the middle class in Tanzania. By providing technical support, Rijk Zwaan is helping the company to develop its vegetable business.

Rising middle class wants fresh

“A group of entrepreneurs originally founded Ecoveg Ltd. as a fish farm on Lake Victoria, and the company later expanded into poultry. Consumers in Tanzania’s rising middle class are increasingly buying fresh food products in supermarkets. That’s creating excellent opportunities for entrepreneurs like us.”

Thirteen Rijk Zwaan varieties

“We recently identified some promising opportunities for vegetables so we started producing in greenhouses. Our production capacity has since doubled. We now own a 1-hectare Irrico greenhouse and employ 30 people. Today, Ecoveg is a producer, processor and exporter of more than 10 different vegetable crops, including 13 Rijk Zwaan varieties. We sell our products to hotels, wholesalers and supermarkets in East Africa, including the Mwanza Rock City Mall. We grow some of the products ourselves and outsource the production of others to small, local growers. We have an ongoing ambition to grow. In the near future we will be adding a 1-hectare Astor greenhouse and 5,000 m2 of gauze as protection and shade.”

Good relationship

“We gain a lot of benefit from our good relationship with George Upina, Product Development Specialist at Rijk Zwaan. He has given us technical help and support, in addition to advising us on production techniques and greenhouse construction. To reduce the occurrence of bacterial diseases and Fusarium, George helped us at Ecoveg Ltd to set up a test with grafted tomatoes, using RZ rootstock (Shelter RZ). The ultimate plan is to graft all tomatoes.”