Monitoring heat level to preserve
nutritional quality. Photo by Lokola
Building skills of small-scale farmers in food processing techniques has been one of ACORD's main focus areas in Mwanza,Tanzania aimed at empowering them with ways to enhance market value for local products and reduce wastage. Through training sessions, knowledge of linkages between different processes involved along the agricultural value chain has been enhanced. The trainees have learnt through practical demonstrations and trying out different techniques, how to produce high nutrition tomato sauce and paste.
Different food preservation methods have also been tested using raw vegetable and fruits like pawpaw, mangoes, lemons and various kinds of green vegetables and cereals including finger millet, soya beans and rice. They were also happy to learn that the processed products occupied less storage space and were easier to transport.This means more products can be processed, stored and delivered to the market.
Thousands of Small-scale Farmers Expected to Benefit Indirectly
The training was conducted in partnership with Small Scall Industries Development Organisation (SIDO), a community based organisation based in Mwanza, Tanzania and is supported by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). More than 300 small-scale farmers have so far benefitted directly from the training of trainers initiative, and it is expected that a multiplier effect will enable thousands more from across Tanzania to benefit from the skills acquired by the trainees.
Petero Kisinza, a vegetable farmer from Lukobe in Ilemela District could not hide his contentment with the intervention and had this to say: "The training was useful to me given that before I used to throw away left overs after my day at the market-place. Fortunately, now I know how to preserve vegetables like spinach. I am therefore not worried even when I am unable to sell all my products because they stay fresh for longer and do not lose any nutritional value when processed".
Photo: Farmers preparing green vegetables for preservation. Photo by Lokola Ndibalema