Sido, Taha join to train packagers

Tanzania Horticultural Association (Taha) has partnered with the Small Industries Development Organisation (Sido), to impart new skills in the sub-sector in efforts to bolster product competitiveness at the market.

Taha and Sido’s Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) which were sealed a week ago have so far benefited nearly 20 small entrepreneurs in northern Tanzania who have been trained on the new processing technics and products packaging.

The idea behind the partnership is to provide tailor made training to increase technical capacity for vegetable and fruits processors in order to enhance quality.

“Our desire is to train a pool of trainer of trainers (ToT) in horticultural products processors in order to replicate the know-how across the country,” Taha executive eirector Jacqueline Mkindi said.

Ms Mkindi whose association will fund training pledged that the first butch of ToT would be enrolled to the higher-level processing training in a bid to qualify to transfer the knowledge to others. 

She said that lack of packaging materials in the country and high taxes imposed on imported consumable materials are the twin devils facing the small-scale processors.

“The government charges 55 per cent taxes in addition to 18 per cent Vat for imported consumable goods comprising packaging materials make the locally processed horticultural products beyond reach compared to Kenyan products,” Ms Mkindi said.

Mr David Elias, a peanut butter processor in Arusha, concurred with Ms Mkindi’s views that they have been losing the business to Kenyan products due to poor quality of packaging.

“Large supermarkets are not interested to buy our products mainly because of poor packaging,” Mr Elias said during the just ended first training.

Sido’s Arusha regional manager Isidore Kiyenze said they are making round the clock efforts to set up a packaging material plant in a bid to ease the processors’ plight.

“Preliminary projection shows that we need to raise roughly Sh100 million to be able to procure a modern packaging device. We are struggling to raise funds” Mr Kiyenze explained.

For her part, the food and nutrition guru from New Zealand, Dr Anne Perera said Tanzania’s processors have the potential to capture international markets with their organic horticultural products.

“I have seen the potential, the local processors only need guidance to comply with international regulations to venture into the wider international markets” Dr Perera said at the end of training she conducted over the weekend in Arusha.
Source: The Citizen, reported by Adam Ihucha in Arusha, Tanzania
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