The government has emphasised on the need to provide trainers and facilitators with adequate knowledge to enhance their capacity to respond to Small and Medium Enterprises’ (SMEs) needs in terms of technology and market requirements.
This was said in Dar es Salaam on Saturday by the Industry and Trade ministry permanent secretary Joyce Mapunjo, when closing a training of trainers’ course on food processing organised by Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO).
The five-day training, facilitated by trainers from Singapore and New Zealand, attracted 25 officials from all SIDO regional offices in the country.
She said once trained, they would help Tanzanians particularly SMEs to improve the quality of products the produce, hence increase their incomes.
“SMEs play a big role in the implementation of national strategies on reducing poverty through the Kilimo Kwanza initiative,” she said.
She said they need to be well facilitated so that they can overcome the challenges they face hence benefit from what they produce.
“Many interventions need to be done to make them produce and market competitively value added agricultural products,” she added.
According to her, interventions are needed in the areas of capacity building, technology transfer, business linkages and the search for markets.
Explaining further, she said value addition to local agricultural produce was important for Tanzania whose economy is largely dependent on the sector.
“Increasing contribution of this sector to industrial growth and wealth creation is the only way our country can overcome hunger and poverty,” she said.
At the moment the contribution industries to the GDP is at 10 percent, which according to her, could be fast increased if SMEs are sensitised and encouraged to develop enterprises by producing more quality products for the ready East African market.
According to the PS, Tanzania has a comparative advantage in that it has the largest agro potential in the region.
She pledged that the government would continue to support various initiatives and create a conducive environment for growth of the industrial sector and national economy in general.
Speaking on behalf of participants, Gervas Richard from SIDO Kigoma office thanked the government for its continued support towards improving the food processing industry.
He said the training has enabled them to acquire knowledge on processing various food crops including, cassava cakes, groundnuts and chill sauces.
He thanked the facilitators from Singapore and New Zealand who bought international experience and knowledge from their countries.
Richard urged the government to establish and develop more processing centres and increase primary processing equipment.