The Finland-funded “Promoting Intra-Regional Trade in Eastern Africa” project has been under implementation since January 2014 and ends in 2016. The project aims to strengthen export-driven growth in three Eastern and Southern African countries namely Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia. The project takes a value chain approach to improve productivity and competitiveness by addressing some of the main constraints faced by farmers, producers, processors, traders and other market actors.
At the institutional level, the project aims at strengthening local and regional value chains for trade in honey, processed mango and spices including chillies, by enhancing the capacities of Trade and
Investment Support Institutions (TISIs) to serve the business development and advisory needs of small businesses.
In Tanzania, the project is providing, amongst other interventions, technical assistance in compliance with quality standards to help ensure that Tanzanian mango, honey and spices comply with international food safety requirements. As a result of the interventions food safety awareness has been enhanced for TISIs, enterprises and regulators in the mango, honey and spices sectors on Food Safety Standards and HACCP, e.g. Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS), Food and Drug Authority (FDA), Association of Mango Growers (AMAGRO), Tanzania Honey Council (THC), TanTrade and Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO).
A total of 14 local processors from the mango, honey and spices sectors are being assisted by 10 local food safety experts and advisers who are being trained on the job by ITC. To ensure that the trainers as well as institutions have adequate and appropriate resource materials, the project organised and sponsored the translation into the Swahili language of the handbook: “Export Quality Management: A Guide for Small and Medium-Sized Exporters”. In Tanzania, Swahili is used more commonly than English hence having the book in Swahili will make a difference in further training of SMEs by the responsible institutions and trainers.