SMALL entrepreneurs in the country have been challenged to keep on improving quality of processing and packaging their products so that they effectively penetrate the East African Community (EAC) market.
Acting Kigoma Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS), Ntime Mwalyambi said this on Monday, while closing a five-day training for business officers of Kigoma regional councils. The training was aimed at reaching to small entrepreneurs and educating them on how to be successful in the market.
"It is imperative for our small entrepreneurs to continue improving the quality of processing and packaging of products, because this is the only secret that will enable them to easily penetrate the regional market," he said.
Mwalyambi said that small entrepreneurs must be trained to focus on the quality of the products they produce, including going for standard packaging to entice and sustain customers.
He said that Kigoma Region has now become one of the economic hubs for EAC, especially following the inclusion of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) into the regional bloc.
He added, "The training should be a catalyst for business officers in Kigoma to reach out to small entrepreneurs and to enable them adapt to current market demands."
Explaining the purpose of the training, Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO) Kigoma Regional Manager, Gervas Ntahamba, said that the DRC inclusion in EAC, provides opportunities for Kigoma regional entrepreneurs to tap the country as its main commodity market.
However, Ntahamba said that the existence of the opportunity has made SIDO seek support from stakeholders, where the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through the Kigoma Joint Programme (KJP) has facilitated training of business officials to reach out to small entrepreneurs, who work with them to be more productive in line with market development and needs.
One of the participants, Maria Tarimo from Kasulu Town Council, said that there were still major challenges, especially poor quality of packaging for the entrepreneurs struggling to meet international market standards.
Mr Tarimo said through the training they will be able to reach out to small entrepreneurs in their areas and provide them with education and skills on what they need to do to meet market demands.