Tanzania Daily News Dar es Salaam
Displayed with permission from allAfrica.com

AS part of efforts to enhance value addition in agricultural products, the Tanzania Trade Development Authority (TanTrade) is conducting training for 100 farmers in Ruangwa and Masasi districts, on packaging and branding of oil seeds.

Speaking at the occasion, the Ruangwa District Commissioner, Mr Joseph Mkirikiti, challenged farmers in the area to improve production of sunflower, sesame and coconut since the produce attract high prices both in the local and foreign markets.

Mr Mkirikiti told residents in the area that farming of the oil seeds will play a crucial role in creating jobs and thus unemployment rate in the district. During the training, the DC was as well presented with over 1,000 labels and packaging materials produced by TanTrade.

« I am highly optimistic that the training will enable you move a step ahead in boosting production of oil seeds. Demand for the edible oil in Tanzania is about 350,000 litres per annum and yet farmers produce only 40 per cent of the demand.

The rest is imported, » he noted. The DC as well urged the farmers attending the training to impart the knowledge to other farmers who have not been able to receive the coaching.

Mr Mkirikiti was hopeful that in the future the farmers will be able to establish small-scale industries to process the seeds and eventually curb importation of edible oil. At the same occasion, the Acting Director General of TanTrade, Mr Edwin Rutageruka, said the authority has been conducting the training to build capacity for small-scale farmers.

The TanTrade boss mentioned other partners in the imitative as the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) and the Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO). « Our aim is to enable farmers to produce high quality products for the local and foreign markets.

We conducted a research in Lindi and Mtwara Regions and we observed a number of opportunities, » Mr Rutageruka noted. A representative of the farmers, Ms Safina Selemani, thanked the authority for the training and packaging materials which she said will go long way in improving their undertakings.