July 2023. At the «Collection Point» in Makambako, situated in the southern highlands, maize, beans, potatoes, fruits, and more are gathered, cleaned, packaged, and stored for long-distance transport to Dar es Salaam. The «Points of Sale» mark the end-point of the 800 km logistics chain, where products are directly sold to consumers in the city.
Our local partner, TBM, aims to fill a gap in its innovative trading concept: organizing and overseeing the entire chain without intermediaries, enabling detailed accountability and ensuring benefits for the farmers. Currently, a bean changes hands 7 to 8 times before it reaches the plates in Dar es Salaam. For everyone involved in this complex chain, trade is a highly risky business, as it is practically unpredictable due to numerous uncertainties. All parties hope that nothing goes wrong. Moreover, the available cash is scarce because loans for such ventures are unaffordable. Everyone tries to mitigate risks by driving down prices, leaving the farmers with meagre returns.
TBM wants to reverse the trade dynamics. The name itself, Tanzania Biashara Mapema (TBM), meaning «Tanzania Business in Advance,» signifies a different and innovative logic. TBM takes responsibility for marketing the products on behalf of the farmers throughout the entire logistics chain, right up to the final sale in cities, while ensuring transparent accounting. TBM can reduce and control the number of transactions. Their own agents secure procurement, maintain quality, and close deals with «Cash on the Bag,» providing immediate advances. Deliveries become predictable and regular. Thanks to transparent accounting, the farmers can ultimately earn more, fostering trust in the innovative logistics.