THE second entrepreneurs and provident funds exhibitions will be held at Ruanda- Nzovwe ground in Mbeya Region later this month to widen market opportunities for business people in the southern highlands.
National Economic Empowerment Council (NEEC), Executive Secretary, Ms Bengi Issa said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the exhibitions scheduled to take place from 19 to 23 this month targets to empower local communities in producing high quality goods and explore new markets.
"The exhibitions will help entrepreneurs producing goods from local made raw materials explore new market opportunities," she said. The initiative will be an incentive for local communities engaging in small industries development to improve the quality of goods.
The government has about 37 funds and three special programmes empowerment programmes for local communities. Provident funds give out loans, subsidy and is increasing treasury bonds to local banks for local communities to establish small industries.
In this initiative, the provident funds seek to support agricultural value chain in order to add value to agri products to reduce trading in raw commodities thus assuring farmers high income .
She said the exhibitions focus on entrepreneurs with view of promoting empowerment opportunities provided by provident funds, village community banks and other government programmes targeting local communities.
She said the Council in partnership with empowerment funds, village community banks and government empowerment programmes organised the exhibitions expected to be officially closed by the Minister for Industry Trade and Investment, Mr Charles Mwijage.
"This is the recognition of the southern highlands, key producers of agricultural crops. So it is important for residents take active participation in order to explore immense opportunities," she noted.
The Presidential Trust Fund (PTF) Managing Director, Ms Haigath Kitala, said that the exhibitions will pave way for entrepreneurs, the funds' beneficiaries to display their products as well as exchange ideas and experience.
The Managing Director of the Private Agricultural Sector Support, (PASS), Mr Nicomed Bohay urged that the private sector to use the existing government empowerments funds to access capital and eventually establish small scale processing industries in agricultural products and livestock.