Our History

The story of The Tanganyika Farmers’ Association Limited (TFA) is closely tied to the history of Tanzania. TFA has been one of the major stakeholders and most effective players within the agricultural sector in Tanzania since it commenced operations in the then Tanganyika, in 1935. Initially established as a division of the Kenya Farmers’ Association Limited, in 1955 TFA was registered as a separate entity.  TFA has more than 4,800 members representing a cross-section of the Tanzanian farming community.  From small landholders to large commercial farmers, from villagers’ to government farms, from family owned farms to co-operative societies, TFA truly represents Tanzania’s farmers and their communities. TFA has a long and sometimes turbulent past; key events in the Association’s history are summarised below:

  • 1935 To 1946 The Kenya Farmers’ Association Limited (KFA) opens branches in Moshi, Arusha and Iringa, with Head Quarters in Arusha, to serve farmers in Tanganyika based on principles similar to operations in Kenya.
  • 1955 The Tanganyika Farmers’ Association Ltd is incorporated and takes over KFA’s assets and operations in Tanganyika.
  • 1962 The Tanganyika Government receives African Development Loan funding from the British Government to empower local farmers to increase their participation in agricultural production, especially in the management of large farms. The Government assigns the funds to TFA for management, greatly increasing TFA’s agricultural intervention and contact with local farmers. TFA membership swells.
  • 1963 The Tanganyika Government establishes the National Agricultural Products Board (NAPB) which in turn appoints TFA as its main agent on account of the latter’s extensive and wide network of storage facilities and infrastructure. TFA’s services to farmers blossom.
  • 1967 Following the “Arusha Declaration” the Government confiscates and nationalises several TFA assets, TFA investments in subsidiary and associated companies such as Farm Vehicles Ltd, Northern Dairies Ltd, the Vegetable Dehydration and Seed Drying Plant; private food crop export is banned. TFA and its Members’ commercial and agricultural activities are devastated.
  • 1968 The Government establishes the National Milling Corporation (NMC) and legislates a crop confinement policy whereby only NMC and Co-operative Unions were allowed to buy crops, taking away TFA’s right to purchase, process and market farm production and therefore its ability to supply farm inputs on credit to Members. Consequently TFA’s services to its Members are severely reduced as is its financial strength.
  • 1973 – 1975 The Government abolishes all co-operative societies and unions (and Municipal and Town Councils) and establishes crop authorities to deal in various crop products. Farmers turn to shattered TFA for farm inputs. The Government also nationalizes all large farms (50 acres and above), including TFA Members’ farms, in Tanga, Kilimanjaro, Arusha/Manyara and Mbeya. The Iringa story is in history books.
  • 1976 Co-operative societies and unions (and local government authorities) are re-established and National Agricultural and Food Corporation (NAFCO) formed by the Government. Management of nationalized farms is handed over to NAFCO and to the new co-operative unions.
  • 1986 The economy is liberalized and TFA repositions itself to recover lost ground. Several new private players enter the farm inputs market resulting in intense competition and closure of most of the small ones. Most of the Government crop authorities enter their death beds.
  • 1989 TFA establishes an annual agricultural show (Arusha Agriculture Show) for farmers, suppliers and service providers which is later taken over by the Agriculture Ministry and renamed “NaneNane”.
  • 1994 Government delays reimbursement of subsidy on large imports of bulk fertiliser for almost 10 years sending TFA into a serious cash flow situation that stifled its ability to purchase supplies for farmers. Consequently financial performance declined over many years that followed, giving more room to new players.
  • 1995 TFA Branches are operating in Arusha, Moshi, Dodoma, Iringa, Mbeya, Tanga and Dar es Salaam along with Depots in Oldeani, Karatu, Mafinga, Mbozi, Mwanga, Tukuyuand  Babati.
  • 2003 TFA Arusha Shopping Centre opened for business on Sokoine Road which has since grown to become one of the largest shopping centres in the country.
  • 2005 Branches are operating in Arusha, Moshi, Iringa, Njombe, Mbeya and Tanga along with Sub-Branches in Karatu, Tarakea, Babati, Mafinga and Mbozi, following closure of Dodoma, Mwanga, Oldeani and Tukuyu outlets resulting from operational difficulties. Dar es Salaam operations scaled down to a supply and liaison office.
  • 2007 New four year Corporate Strategic Plans approved by the board to return TFA to profitability following several years of losses. The plans focus on growth in both its farm inputs and services to Members as well as growing its commercial property business as a hedge to the volatile agricultural sector. TFA Board adopts Best Practice Principles Of Good Corporate Governance to support the new Corporate Strategic Plans and guide the organisation to future success.
  • 2008 – 2009 TFA’s Trading Division increases its annual sales by 100% in 2008 and 55% in 2009 following implementation of the Corporate Strategic Plans.