Source: Tanzania Daily News
Members of more than 10 women groups in Marangu-East Ward of Moshi, in Kilimanjaro region, want to be trained on marketing skills in order to export their fruits and vegetable products abroad.
The women told this paper through one of their representatives, Ms Ikunda Mrema, that the entire Marangu area is blessed with practically all varieties of fruits, vegetables and other farm produce but their abundance also means that, much of their raw consignment go to waste due to poor storage and marketing skills.
Now the women want local trade officers in the area to conduct serious investment seminars for their groups, teaching them to process, package and label their produce stating that if packaged well, the local fruit and vegetable products grown naturally and free from impurities such as chemicals, will attract major markets in other parts of the country and even abroad.
"We also have to be empowered enough to compete in the single East African trading area once all border walls are knocked down and people from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi flow in, bringing their better packaged produce into Tanzania," pointed out Ms Mrema.
Marangu area, famous for its larger than life bananas, is also home to variety of avocadoes and juicy mangoes, as well as all types of vegetables, that with proper handling could put the area on the world's map in addition to being just famous for Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak.
Fruits production was also said to be the only way through which the local female population could free itself from both poverty and male chauvinism fuelled by the fact that most women are not financially independent. Special seats' Member of Parliament Dr Betty Machangu who visited the area recently told members of the 10 women groups that, the only stumbling block towards such dreams was their fear.
"But the fact that you have realized your potential and shown readiness to work, I think both the government and I will ensure that you get the required assistance, including education, in order to empower the female population around this area," she promised