Bananas in Tanzania are sold through an inefficient, informal network of brokers and middlemen that handle the crop in a rough manner and without considering perishability. This results in a high amount of waste and high prices for end-consumers.
Matunda.Box is the first fresh produce brand in Tanzania (owned by KilimOrgano) to aggregate the demand for and supply of fresh produce, specifically bananas, onto a single technology platform while providing the cold supply chain and logistical movement of bananas as a service. For farmers, including smallholders, KilimOrgano guarantees off-take of both organic and inorganic bananas through a buy-back agreement that provides better visibility of expected earnings prior to harvest. The company also micropropagates banana tissue culture plants from its modern tissue culture laboratory and offers technical field support to farmers at all levels. Retailers, specifically small scale fresh produce street vendors (S3V) in the urban areas of Dar es salaam, will be able to access diversified product crates (different banana varieties and other demanded crops) and improved quality product that is conveniently delivered to their stalls using refrigerated trucks. By reducing food wastage, Matunda.Box helps lower food prices and improves food security.
The procurement of bananas from farmers, post harvesting practices, and logistics from farm to market will be done by KilimOrgano and Matunda.Box. Bananas will be transported to the cold storage warehouses in Dar es salaam where the Matunda.Box warehouse team will manage stock and ensure a first in, first out mode of operation. Order and payment from S3V will be received via a mobile commerce system (phone application) and registered under the inventory system for preparation and dispatch. Matunda.Box drivers will deliver bananas in crates at S3V stall locations and S3V can also buy wholesale from the company’s cold storage warehouse in Mikocheni. The same technology will be implemented for other demanded Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) crops including potatoes, tomatoes, and onions provided to S3Vs.