Capacity Development for SMEs in Agro/Food Processing
Introduction and Background
The food processing activities in the framework of the UNIDO/MITM Integrated Programme include support through policy advice and establishment of pilot centers to demonstrate the potential of agro processing in value addition, mitigation of post harvest losses and improved income of rural communities. The centers in Muheza, Kigoma and Zanzibar are operational, while the ones in Mtwara, Kagera and Dodoma are under installation.
In these activities, UNIDO provides the know-how and best practices on technology options while infrastructure development is undertaken by the local communities within the framework of government plans such as district development plans
The pilot centers for food processing are operated to demonstrate business potential to investors –local and foreign, are accessible to communities as technology demonstration and training units, support to establish market contacts especially in export markets and to provide evidence for Government policy in support of SMEs. The operational pilot centers have already demonstrated that small rural entrepreneurs, when enabled could invest their savings and operate as a company engaged in profitable production.
UNIDO Food Processing Interventions ...
... in Muheza (Fruits and Vegetables), Dodoma (Oil seeds), Mtwara (Cashew), Zanzibar (Fish and Spices) and Kigoma (Fish and Fruits):
- Identification, sourcing and technical training on best technologies for food processing
- Commercial scale demonstration on production of selected products (Dried fruits and vegetables i.e. mangoes, coconut, potato leave and mchunga; Milk from soya bean, Juices and Fish)
- Testing the markets – export and local supermarkets - for product acceptability, potential demand, price, quality and standards
- Establishing raw materials supply networks at farm gate level and improving the supply chain and handling practices on farm
- Official registration as required by the national regulatory framework for food processing operations including business registration, Food and Drug Authority certification and Standards certification of products
- Training and capacity building of local suppliers of packaging materials to design labels that comply to food packaging standards, improve shelf life and attractiveness of products
- Improved capacity of local engineers for adoption, fabrication and maintenance of processing equipments and machines that have proved successful
Planned Future Activities
For government financial year 2007/08, all targeted districts (Muheza, Kigoma, Dodoma, Mtwara and Zanzibar) have allocated budgets to support SME groups scale up the activities of the UNIDO supported pilot centers
UNIDO future activities will include providing advise to districts, private sector, line ministries and other development partners on agro industry and mobilize resources for improving the productive capacities of SMEs as well as expanding activities to Lindi region through the One UN programme.