THE government has set up a strategic plan aiming to encourage establishment of small scale industries across the country as efforts to reduce fruits post-harvest losses.
Deputy Minister for Industry and Trade Mr Exaud Kigahe told the National Assembly here on Thursday that in addition to establishment of processing industries, there is also need for having cold storage facilities which are also crucial in minimising losses.
Mr Kigahe was responding to a supplementary question by Special Seats MP Fakharia Khamis (CCM), who sought to know how the government was helping fruits framers to reduce losses after a bumper harvest. She urged the government to encourage Tanzanians to invest in processing industries, especially in regions which produce more fruits to curb the losses and enable farmers to benefit from the business.
Responding, Mr Kigahe said that the government is aware of the losses incurred by farmers and it has started taking measures to address the problem.
“Through Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO), we have set up fruits processing factories which use drying technology to avoid the losses,” he said.
In her basic question, Ms Khamis wanted to know the government plans to look for reliable market for fruits within and outside the country and the establishment of fruits processing factories in order to increase efficiency. The Deputy Minister noted that the government is responsible for ensuring reliable market for agricultural produce, including fruits.
“We use our embassies abroad in order to get information about market demand of our crops abroad,” he said.
He added that the government plans to find reliable markets for agricultural produce, including encouraging local and foreign investors to invest in small scale, medium and large industries through Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC), Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA), Tanzania embassies abroad and the government at regional and district level.
Mr Kigahe further noted that the government through SIDO, National Development Corporation (NDC) and EPZA provide guidance on how to establish various industries at different levels, including fruit processing factories.
He said that the government efforts to encourage establishment of factories has borne fruits, whereby currently there are two fruits processing industries in Bagamoyo District, which are Elven Agri Co. Ltd and Sayona Fruits Co. Ltd with capacity of processing 28 tonnes of fruits per day and provide 755 employment opportunities.
The Deputy Minister added that the two factories provide fruits market to various farmers in the country. He advised Members of Parliament to continue encouraging farmers to produce more fruits to enable the factories to have reliable raw materials.