The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Marketing in conjunction with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is introducing a seven-year programme aimed at helping farmers curb an annual loss of 40% (on average) in vegetables and fruits after harvest because of little knowledge of food processing and packaging as well as poor marketing strategies.
Dr Cyril Chami, deputy minister of Industry, Trade and Marketing, explained that the $7bn programme to be piloted in the Coast, Iringa, Manyara, Mwanza and Ruvuma regions will enhance institutional strengths, awareness raising and capacity building down to the village level.
The government is also implementing a Small and Medium Enterprises Competitive Facility through Danish International Development Assistance’s sponsorship on food processing, Chami said.
The Small Industries Development Organisation and the government has thus far trained nearly 6,000 small-scale entrepreneurs and organised 200 teaching programmes on food processing under the programme.
According to the director general of the Board of External Trade, Ramadhan Khalfan, double the number of small- and large-scale participants have registered for training this year. In addition, bodies like the Tanzania Bureau of Standards’ Weights and Measures Agency, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and the Tanzania Food and Drug Authority, have come on board.