AS Tanzania joins the rest of the world to mark World Food Day today, Good Food Afrique is set to promote smallholder farmers and entrepreneurs involved in agro-industry especially food processing as way to support industrialisation.
"My idea is in sync with Tanzania's current socio-economic growth policy through industrialisation," said Good Food Afrique Chief Executive Officer, Ms Juliana Mataba in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
The new organisation wants to achieve this through creating markets, provision of suitable processing premises, processing facilities and equipment, training, mentorship and build good value supply chain in the industry.
Ms Mataba who is the promoter of the good food concept was selected among the 12 young entrepreneurial women from East African countries to attend a fellowship programme that now wants to share the experiences.
"The good food concept seeks to incubate food processing projects and simultaneously promote value chains for agro-industry in furtherance of value addition to agricultural products.
Good food processing will help reduce post-harvest losses as well as linking the local agriculture to the international markets," she said. Agriculture is Tanzania's economic mainstay accounting for about 30 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP).
The sector also provides employment to over 65 per cent of Tanzanians and in favourable seasons, it covers more than 100 per cent of the domestic food needs.
However, there is little value addition and small and medium agro processors have not been able to produce, brand and market Tanzanian products well and hygienically resulting into failure to penetrate both local and international markets.
"Food processing is an opportunity to increase entrepreneurship, create jobs, potential for improving export earnings, widening tax base as well as developing the sector in general," said Ms Mataba.
Good Food Afrique intends to bring together all food stakeholders including vendors, food processors, supermarkets, fresh produce, farmers, food agents, distributors and all stakeholders in the value chain who are dealing with food and agriculture in Tanzania.
The programme named "Advance young women in agribusiness, entrepreneurship and innovators fellowship programme" was held at the Michigan State University (MSU) in the US under the sponsorship of the US State Department of Education and Culture.
During the five-week programme, she was attached to the university's product centre where she was trained on assisting food processors with processing ideas and the mechanism of building such ideas into business and ultimately business set-ups.
The exposure she acquired from this programme has motivated her to launch her mission of reaching out and fostering small-scale agro-industry entrepreneurs, according to her.