WHILE small holder farmers and entrepreneurs often complain about lack of reliable markets for their produce, development stakeholders say there is no need of ‘weeping ‘since the fifth-phase government’s industrialization initiative is set to wipe their tears.
Simply put, industrialization is a process of economic transformation from agricultural productivity to manufacturing of goods. The transformation is characterized by mass production because manual labor is replaced by machines.
Tanzania Investment Center (TIC) admits that there are various reasons behind lack of markets for Tanzania’s Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs. These include, sub standard goods, lack of business network and stable capital, among others.
Having recognized the challenges, TIC is set to improve investment environments to impress and lure as many investors as possible, who will automatically become reliable SMEs markets.
TIC Executive Director, Mr Geoffrey Mwambe says agriculture is one the sectors to be primarily improved since. Industrialization depends much on it; adding that teaching and empowering farmers to produce quality products should be prioritized. On the other side, land conflicts have been discouraging if not permanently putting off investors.
“The government has discovered a remedy which entails encouraging Land Bank system to ease availability of title deeds.” TIC also directed all mu nicipal and town councils to supervise the exercise (Land Bank); saying title deeds will assure investors that no land conflict on whatever areas one chooses to invest in.
However, he clarifies that the title deed should remain in the hands of TIC but handling only what is called Derivative Rights document to investors. Last week, TIC organized a joint meeting with all public entities responsible for investment activities, to get feedback on what has been done so far in improving investment environments, especially after the introduction of One Stop Center facility, a while ago.
Mr Mwambe explained that the introduction of the facility was to reduce among others, bureaucracy; saying TIC directed issuance of investment permits within three days, an order to be implemented effective July this year.
As of July next year, the permits will be available within a single day; according to him; adding that processing the per mit for a whole month or even more was outdated practice and never matched with the current modern technology era.
TIC proposed for single permit application form usage (by applicant) that should be filled by all relevant organs while TIC would release the certificate, instead of every entity issuing its own certificate.
In such a way, the client/investor) should pay all the needed charges/ fees to TIC and let it channeling the payment to specific entity, be it Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), Business and Registration Licensing Agency (BRELA, Tanzania Food and Drug Authority (TFDA), among others.
It is that smooth investment environment that will trigger industrialization, to wipe not only petty farmers and traders’ tears but also create permanent jobs and boost the nation’s economy, according to Mr Mwambe.
TIC looked forward introducing more zonal offices country-wide, to enable inves tors easily accessing the services. Currently, the offices are only in Kilimanjaro, Mbeya and Dodoma.
For the time being, TIC connects SMEs with local supermarkets for reliable markets while conducting continuous capacity building workshops, aimed at increasing techniques and skills in detecting new opportunities and maintaining trade between them (SMEs) and big companies.
They have also to benefit with skills over enhancing the quality and standards of products and services they offer, and gaining more confidence in running their businesses.
“The most important thing is connecting small traders with business network in and outside Africa. Financial institutions are with us to shower them with the knowledge on business administration and financial management in general as well as provision of soft loans to help beneficiaries expand their capitals on top of improving their incomes” he said.
While TIC implements its duties, other stakeholders emphasized on quick improvement in agriculture sector in particular, if the government really intends to transform the country into a middle economy through industrialization.
As a starting point, the government should collaborate with private stakeholders to empower local innovators who have been creating various machines for farm products processing.
United States Agency for International Development (USAID and the Center for Advancement of Women in Agriculture in Tanzania (CAWAT) has been supporting Tanzanian through Innovation in Gender Equality (IGE) programme, to promote among others, household food security.
The IGE involves seminars which offer training to innovators of different machines, to easy agriculture activities, according to Land O’Lakes-Tanzania, the Non-Governmental Organization-an implementer of the programme.
The programme has borne commendable results since people have been able to innovate, among others; farm outputs processing and packaging machines as well as modern storage facilities; according to Land O’Lakes Executive Director, Dr Rose Kingamkono.
Uteiti Innovation Group in Mbeya Region is one of IGE beneficiaries which managed to create fruits and tomato processing machines with the group’s Chairperson Yohana Mwazyunga called up on further empowerment to enable them make advanced machines.
Uteiti machines came in uses after the group observed the way small farmers struggled to have access to reliable markets, but in vain. The machines therefore have to process and preserve goods in best ways until markets are there.
He commented that some farmers have been missing the markets due to poor infrastructures, meaning that they fail transporting their products to where processing industries are available.
“As a result, their farm out put get rotten, especially tomatoes which are perishable goods. Having recognized the extent producers experience the loss, we decided coming up with this technology,” he said.
SAFI group in Morogoro came up with crop winnowing technology to easily remove chaffs from crops. The Group Managing Director, Peterson Msumari admitted that:
“Winnowing for some crops, mostly rice, consumes time before introduction of the machine. It is because producers depended on wind only.” Msumari aired his general views on importance of empowering local innovators; saying apart from creating jobs, it is also easy for farm activities and other benefits.