TBS Trains Grape Farmers to Maintain Standards
Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) has trained over 100 grape growers and processors in Dodoma Region to manage the crop in its value chain and increase value in the market.
The training was conducted by TBS officials in three areas namely Dodoma City, Hombolo and Mpunguzi Dodoma.
At the closing remarks, the TBS Central Zone Manager, Nickonia Mwabuka said that the training was about the standards requirements on the crop and its products as well as best farming principles.
“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 Mwabuka
He explained that the beneficiaries of the training were those who were in the value chain, farmers, processors and other stakeholders, mostly small and medium entrepreneurs.
"This group is very important in contributing to GDP, increasing employment and eradicating poverty in our country,” said Mwabuka.
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 the crop value to be one of 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.
"This is due to the opportunities available especially in this sector including local and regional markets. It should be noted that our country is a member state of the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
We are aware that some members and our neighbors do not grow their own grapes so for us it is an opportunity,” said Mumba.