TANZANIA – The Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) has trained over 100 grape growers and processors in Dodoma region on the standards requirements as well as the best grape farming principles.
The training which will help the stakeholders to manage grapes in its value chain and increase the crop’s value in the market, was conducted by TBS officials in three areas Dodoma City, Hombolo and Mpunguzi Dodoma.
“The training also focused on good processing and hygiene regulations, various grape and grape processing technologies, business registration, packaging as well as product quality assurance and issues related to export standards and quality,” said Nickonia Mwabuka, TBS Central Zone Manager.
Mwabuka explained that the beneficiaries of the training were those who were in the value chain, farmers, processors and other stakeholders who were mostly small and medium entrepreneurs.
“This group is very important in contributing to GDP, increasing employment and eradicating poverty in our country,” he noted.
Speaking at the opening of the training on behalf of Dodoma Regional Commissioner Anthony Mtaka, Assistant Administrative Secretary for Economy, Production, Investment, Industry and Trade, Ms. Aziza Mumba said the government intends to increase grapes value to be among the strategic crops to increase productivity for farmers.
She said most of the residents in Dodoma region engage in growing grapes but face many challenges including selling of raw and unripe grapes, and lack of quality packaging materials for their products. Other challenges are lack of knowledge about standards requirements, best processing principles, processing technology, marketing access and more.
Ms. Mumba explained that the government’s intention is to ensure that it adds value to the grapes and stops selling raw to the market.
“This will enable our country to continue building a strong and competitive economy,” she said.
She said the regional leadership believes that the training is the right way to increase productivity as well as support the government’s efforts in ensuring the grape industry and its products contribute to economic growth.
TADP to boost grape value chain
The Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) recently unveiled plans to scale up financing to boost up the grape value chain. According to TADB’s Manager for Central and Northern Zone, Yodas Mwanakatwe, the bank will provide funding for grape processors to enhance the value chain of the crop identified as strategic by the government.
“TADB is ready to support farmers by enhancing value addition of the grapes by financing grapes processors,” he said.
The government identified grapes as a strategic cash crop and initiated measures to boost its productivity for the nascent wine industry in Tanzania.
A report by the Ministry of Agriculture shows that Tanzania has the capacity to produce up to 150,000 tonnes per year but currently production is at the average of 16,000 tonnes only.
In 2018/2019, about 11,552 tons of the total production were sold to local and foreign markets, 65 per cent of which were sold to Tanzanian wine production factories, 19 per cent were sold on the Tanzanian retail market, and the remaining 16 per cent were exported to the neighboring country.