Tanzania’s small and medium agro-enterprises are going to benefit from a joint project by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Trade Centre (ITC), which aims at equipping them with packaging skills.

packagingThe project titled “Improving Food Packaging for Small and Medium Agro-Enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa” aims to train producers in proper packaging to add value to their products and also to ensure their competitiveness in the market. It will be implemented in Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania and Zambia

Fred Kafeero, FAO Tanzania Country Representative, said Tuesday that the project has come at the right time for Tanzania that aims to be and industrial economy.

“The project provides guidance to food chain actors and stakeholders in sub-Saharan Africa including governments and private sector on appropriate food packaging systems including food packaging material, equipment, technologies, knowledge, regulation, services and practices,” he said.

According to him, poor packaging is a main reason in most sub-Saharan countries for the failure of locally manufactured food products to compete favorably with imported ones.

“Overcoming the packaging constraints of small and medium agro-enterprises which manufacture the bulk of locally processed food products, will contribute to strengthen the entire food supply chain, improve the competitiveness of SMAEs and benefit all food chain actors and consumers.

The FAO official also said that besides the above benefits, the project is expected to reduce post-harvest losses and contribute to environmental protection.

Joyce Meru, Director of Training and Regional Administration at the Tanzania’s Small Industries Development Organization (SIDO), described the project as an impetus to the country’s efforts to start sourcing packaging materials locally.

“Most producers are forced to import packaging materials from abroad hence make their products expensive and less competitive in the market,” she said.

SIDO has started a center for designing and producing packaging materials to ensure producers get cheap but quality packaging materials to cut costs, according to Meru. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh