A number of industries are operating without certifying their products, posing a threat to the health of consumers, a report released in Dar es Salaam has shown.
The report compiled by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) showed that only 36.5 per cent of 666 respondents countrywide certified their products through food safety regulation while about 18.9 percent respondents certify products via international standardisation organisation (ISO) and 36.5 percent certifies through Tanzania bureau of Standards (TBS), the report said.
The report was derived from the annual survey of industrial production and performance, its overall objective being to assess the performance of the industrial sector for 2008/09 and specific information on the economic characteristics of Tanzania’s industrial sector.
More than 1,000 industries were visited during the survey which was done by officials of the Ministry in collaboration with NBS and CTI in all 21 regions in mainland.
The information was to help management, policy makers and the private sector in planning, policy formulation/review, monitoring and evaluation of Government programmes aimed at improving the sector.
It was not easy to establish the number of industrialists who use the services of other authorities sanctioned by the government.
Following liberalisation of the economy where the private sector plays an important role in the economy, the government has established a number of authorities to minimise distortions in the market economy.
Some of the regulatory authorities include: Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA), Government Chemist Laboratory Agency (GCLA), Tanzania Atomic Energy Commission (TAEC), Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory (EWURA), Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (SUMATRA) and TBS.
However the study found that about 46.5 percent of industrial firms were registered members of different associations whereas 53.5 percent were not registered as members in any private sector association.
The study also found that although manufacturers in Tanzania focused on the domestic market for their products, some have began venturing into the international export market in recent years.
Data on exports show that volumes and values have expanded and that the percentage of manufacturing industries exporting their products has increased, but they faced costly financial services.
Many firms have access to short term bank loans and facilities, but access to formal long-term credit is severely limited due to weak and non-competitive financial systems.
Loan application procedure is complex, lengthy while loan maturity periods are short, the report added.
The report also notes that many enterprises in the country face problems of marketing due to poor quality of their products, poor packaging and branding, inadequate marketing skills and stiff competition.
Marketing plays a very important role, especially in the liberalised market environment, the report said, adding that it analyses price avenues, products and promotion issues, all important in disposing commodities.