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What WFP national milling census means to stakeholders

What WFP national milling census means to stakeholders

BEING the world’s largest philanthropic provider of school meals globally, the World Food Programme (WFP) focusing on hunger and food security is known to be the food-assistance branch of the United Nations saving lives in emergencies and using food donations to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity especially for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

On the note WFP Tanzania conducted a detailed mapping census of cereals and tuber mills across Tanzania to collect all and/or enough necessary data so as to identify and understand locations, distribution, capacity, fortifications status, and commodities milled, and in turn ensure food security and nutrition in the country.

To realise this, it outsourced the activity to implementing partner- OpenMap Development Tanzania (OMDTZ) in a facilitation that was supervised by the Nutrition and Innovation unit of the country office.

According to a statement that was unveiled to the media-the assessment was divided into three phases; pre-field activities, data collection phase, and post-field activities. Phase one activities included training of trainers (who later on trained field mappers), pilot mapping, and field tools development. Phase two activities included data collection and validation. Phase three activities included data quality assurance, analysis, reporting, and submission.

As a key outcome of the assessment, a web map that allows interactive analysis and visualisation of the data within the platform was created, where the fortification stakeholders would be able to fetch, filter, analyse and make decisions based on the data results.

It further noted that it took the direction of Open-source tools and a community mapping approach by training community members from different regions of the country to collect milling machines' information and add them to OpenStreetMap (OSM) a free and editable map of the world where anyone can add information and download data for different uses.

The census report and web map have been validated by a technical committee drawn from the National Food Fortification Alliance (NFFA) technical committees.

The key figures/facts including findings are; 33,000 mills surveyed, more than 90 per cent of millers do not fortify, most machine owners aged between 36-55 years old, and only 7 per cent of all machines are owned by women.

Further, there were 1,091 mappers recruited (25 per cent female, 75 per cent male), the majority of mills are privately owned, maize is the most milled crop, and most mills depend on electricity as their source of energy for operation.

In these production facilities, the census managed to record 55,801 individual processing machines in 31 regions of Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar which include hammers, rollers, pins, disks, dehullers (counted individually), and rice milling machines. The census was based only on cereals and tuber mills. Cereals include maize, wheat, rice, and sorghum except for edible oils; while the tubers cover cassava only. Fortification status was also assessed.

The findings of this census will be instrumental to the government via the Ministry of Investments, Trade, and Industries (MITI), development partners, and all stakeholders in increasing access to fortified and nutritious foods in the country and supporting the government’s efforts toward mandatory fortification

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Author: DAILY NEWS Reporter

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