SMEs want certification agencies to provide enough explanation on rice

11Feb 2019
By Guardian Reporter
Shinyanga
The Guardian
SMEs want certification agencies to provide enough explanation on rice

SMALL and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) in Kahama District, Shinyanga Region have requested government certification agencies to provide them enough education on how to preserve cereals particularly rice.

Speaking over the weekend during an awareness campaign on standard issues, Elituliza Mmari and Zakia Mwambiko said they would request officials from Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) and Tanzania Bureau of Standards to give them enough knowledge on the effects of rice polishing.

The one day campaign was organised by the Ministry of Industry and Trade through Tanzania Bureau of Standards attracted hundreds of SMEs and district officials.

“We will request government certification agencies to tell us on the effect of rice polishing and best ways of preserving cereals,” said Mmari.

He also mentioned some notable challenges which hinder smooth development of SMES as lack of working premises, packaging and special training on standards are notable challenges.

“We do not have working premises to execute various activities, and shortage of packaging products hence failing to access markets,” he said.

He said most entrepreneurs in the district do not have enough knowledge on procedures used to certify quality of products as a results failing to secure local markets and beyond the East African region .

On her part Mwambiko said awareness campaign plays a crucial role for Kahama SMEs particularly manufacturers since most of them do not understand procedures to be followed in order to secure certificate of quality assurance from the standard watchdog.

She said standard awareness education should be sustainable in order to reach more people and commended TBS for doing the job at district level.

Earlier , the Bureau’s public relations officer , Neema Mtemvu, said they have been educating public on standards issues which aimed at educating them on importance of using certified products.

Regarding challenges , she said TBS provides training to the manufacturers who have joined in groups free of charge.She urged all SMEs in Kahama district to form groups and apply for the trainings which are provided free of charge through Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO).

However, she said the government recognises challenges on working premises for SMEs and it has directed district councils to set aside areas for them.

Mtemvu said residents were informed on importance of standards when they intend to make any purchase including on how to identify approved quality products standard mark.

The entrepreneurs were educated on procedures used to get their products approved before export outside the district .

Apart from Kahama , TBS officials will also conduct similar campaign to SMEs and general public in Tarime district, Mara region and Nyamagana District in Mwanza Region .

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