49. Potatoes for Tanzanians
“Potato cultivation in Tanzania resembles cultivation in my home village in the North Ostrobothnia of the 1950s. Seed potatoes are of poor quality, the logistics chain is broken down, and there is no processing of potatoes,” says Eero Pisilä from Perunamestarit Oy.
Pisilä went to Tanzania for the first time to work for a development cooperation project on food security, funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs between 2012 and 2015. Now he continues the work through his company together with local farmers, entrepreneurs and a local civil society organisation.
Food consumption grows as the population grows, and new sustainable ways to produce food are needed to spare the increasingly dry soil. Pisilä says potato cultivation is the answer. He believes that by improving its potato cultivation and logistics, Tanzania will be able to feed its growing population and reduce poverty among small-holder farmers.
The Perunamestarit company received support from the Finnpartnership’s business partnership programme for reviewing the possibilities for business activities. Cooperation has kicked off well.
“Starting cooperation with local entrepreneurs felt like breaking the 80-metre barrier in javelin throw.”
Photo: Eero Pisilä, graphics: Juho Hiilivirta