TANZANIA – The Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) has during the national milk week called on milk producers and processors in Katavi to adhere to quality standards in the production process, to protect consumers’ health and penetrate wide markets.
“Milk producers and processors should observe the standard of the milk products. They should certify the milk products with the TBS as an important step in penetrating wide markets both domestic and international,” said Ms. Neema Mtemvu, Public Relations (PR) Officer, TBS.
TBS participated in the national milk week to educate entrepreneurs on milk standards so that they can make quality products to compete in the regional and global markets.
According to Mtemvu, lack of knowledge on standard procedures has been one of the factors for the presence of low-quality products as well as losses of raw milk in the market.
TBS also leveraged the national milk week to create awareness to entrepreneurs and other participants on how to identify substandard goods which are destructive to the economy.
Mtemvu said they urged participants during the week-long period to become good ambassadors by joining hands with the government in the fight against counterfeit goods in the market.
She said milk producers and processors should take advantage of the huge East African Community (EAC) market where according to trade agreements, goods certified in one country can be traded in all countries without impediments.
“We informed small scale entrepreneurs in the region that TBS provides certification services freely. What is required from them is to obtain an introduction letter from the Small Industries Development (SIDO) in order to start the process of getting quality mark of standards,” she said.
The PR Officer noted that TBS will continue to provide education to entrepreneurs to bolster its contributions in the economy particularly in jobs creation.
In a bid to contain milk post-harvest losses and increase consumption of processed milk in Katavi Region, the government has set aside 120m/- (USD 51,500) to build collection-cum-processing milk plant, Livestock and Fisheries Deputy Minister Abdalah Ulega has said.
Katavi, he explained, is one of Tanzania’s strategic milk-producing regions but most of the milk is not processed, causing loss to the farmer, community and the government.
He said due to the absence of a processing plant in the region, no value is added to the milk produced, hence causing post-harvest losses. The plant will increase milk shelf-life, allow more people to drink packed milk and milk products.
TBS had also earlier taken the campaign to processors of food and spices present at trade exhibitions organized by the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA), urging them to raise goods standards.
TBS Food Safety Officer William Mhina who was present at the event, implored government institutions, non-government organizations and private sector that oversee manufacturers to make sure that quality standards are observed in the whole production chain.
“We have participated in the Tanga trade fair to provide education to entrepreneurs, identify and address challenges they face and inform them on how to register and certify their goods at the TBS,” he said.