THE Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) has conducted a training programme to over 1,700 producers, distributors and sellers of edible oil in the Central Zone.
Training focused on the production and right conservation of edible oil, particularly correct information on packaging materials.
The two-week training programme, which started from September 21 to October 1, this year, was conducted in Mkalama, Kiomboi, Sikonge, Urambo, Shelui, Tabora Municipal Council and Nzega.
Others areas covered include Igunga, Singida Municipal Council, Kondoa Irangi, Kongwa, Mpwapwa, Kibaigwa, Chamwino, Itigi, Manyoni, Dodoma City and Bahi.
TBS conducted the training programme in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO) as well as commercial, health and development officials.
TBS Quality Control Director Lazaro Msasalaga said training aimed at raising the awareness of stakeholders on various opportunities offered by the government to improve the quality of their products to meet required quality standards that would help expand domestic and foreign markets.
Mr Msasalaga advised them to abide by the rules and regulations guiding production and quality and safe conservation to avoid losing markets as well as facing penalties for dealing with low quality goods.
“I urge you to make regular contacts with TBS offices to get technical advice with regard to the whole value production chain of edible oil.”
For his part, TBS Research and Training Manager Hamis Sudi Mwanasala said training of stakeholders in the edible oil industry would be conducted countrywide and to begin with the regions of Dodoma, Singida and Tabora had been reached.
“This is just the beginning of the training programme and TBS plans to reach all stakeholders from the grassroots. After covering the central regions, the Southern Highlands Zone, other parts of the country will be reached soon,” he noted.
He said training was financed by the government and was provided freely. “That is is why we will reach all stakeholders in the country.”
Besides providing knowledge on issues related to quality control on edible oil, TBS used the platform to inform the stakeholders on its role.
TBS Acting Head from the Central Zone Salome Emmanuel emphasised a need for entrepreneurs to utilise the unique opportunity of acquiring the TBS quality mark by sending their applications freely through SIDO so that the government could recognise small-scale producers of edible oil because they fell under the category that must bear the TBS quality mark after meeting quality standards.
Training was conducted in some organised places that brought together stakeholders from the edible oil industry, but also TBS took initiative to reach out to others in their places of business or production such as Pandambili (Kongwa), Singida Main Market, Pahi Division (Kondoa), Majengo Market (Dodoma City) and Mitundu (Itigi).
Others are Nzega Main Market, Tabora Main Market and sellers on the roadside in Shelui District.
Ms Emmanuel said the objective of reaching out to stakeholders was to impart education on the side effects of exposing edible oil to sunlight, heat and air that could cause health problems to consumers.
Stakeholders were directed to improve conservation of edible oil and put correct information on packaging materials.
Edible Oil Producer Daud Makala and Edible Oil Seller Eunice Maneno from Dodoma who participated in training commended TBS for helping stakeholders in various sectors of the economy, particularly in edible oil to ensure they met the quality standards of their products.
They, however, urged TBS to ensure it conducted training and inspected markets to remove low quality products from the market.