Musoma. The government has been urged to review a procedure used to acquire permits for labelling products from the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS).
Speaking on Friday, November 18, at an agroforestry symposium organised by an international organisation, VI Agroforestry, the organisation's deputy country manager Thaddeus Mbowe said the current procedure did not match with the government’s industrial economy drive.
He explained that smallholder farmers were among important stakeholders of the industrial economy, but they were facing problems to approval of their products from the TBS, situation that denied them to access the international market.
He explained that to reach the industrial economy smallholder farmers had to produce and process their products, but they faced barriers to achieve their goals as most of them had been spending a lot of time looking for approval from the TBS.
Mr Mbowe said it had taken more than two years for them to get approval from TBS, situation that made them give up and unless something was done about it would be difficult for the government to achieve its industrial economy goal.
He suggested to the government to be close to smallholder farmers as they contributed greatly to national development.
"The government and it's responsible authorities such as TBS should be close to smallholders so that they can conduct their activities smoothly without challenges some of which are caused by government institutions,” he explained.
Speaking at the opening of the symposium, VI Agroforestry country manager Larson Kent said his organisation aimed at supporting smallholders farmers to realise sustainable development and that could be achieved if he smallholder farmers’ activities were in line with the industrial economy.
He said his organisation was supporting smallholders farmers in three regions - Mara, Mwanza and Kagera – to mitigate poverty and climate change through agroforestry and empower them so that they might mitigate poverty, hunger and deforestation.
Speaking at the closing of the symposium, Mara regional commissioner Adam Malima thanked the organisation for its support and said because of its presence in the region most of smallholder farmers had managed to address the challenges that faced them before, including lack of capital and climate change.
He directed the responsible authorities to collaborate with the organisation so that farmers could practise modern agriculture, improve crop yield and livelihood – all in line with the industrial revolution.