The training, which was about the standards requirements on the crop and its products as well as best farming principles, was conducted by TBS officials in three areas namely Dodoma City, Hombolo and Mpunguzi Dodoma.
TBS central zone manager Nickonia Mwabuka said 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. “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 eliminating poverty in our country,” he added.
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, Aziza Mumba said the government plans to increase the crop value to be one of the strategic crops to increase productivity for farmers.
“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,” she said.
Other challenges are lack of knowledge about standards requirements, best processing principles, processing technology, marketing access and more.
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 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 neighbours do not grow their own grapes so it is an opportunity for us,” said Mumba.