Small scale maize millers not using food fortifica

Posted on September, 25, 2019 at 10:37 am

THE majority of maize millers in the country do not fortify flour which is widely sold to consumers in the market despite the fact that food fortification has so far reached 65 percent in the country.

Strengthening African Processors of Fortified Foods’ Program Manager, George Kaishozi said in Dar es Salaam last week that compliance on food fortification regulations by local food processors lags far behind among maize flour millers who are scattered all over using simple technologies.

Through the Food, Drugs and Cosmetics Regulations and Order 2011, maize, wheat and edible oil processors need to fortify their products before entering the market by adding micro-nutrients to replace the same wasted during processing.

Kaishozi said SAPFF program being undertaken by TechnoServe Tanzania has seen big progress among wheat processors and edible oil manufacturers while maize millers remain static making it difficult to attain the 80 percent compliance target in the market.

Funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, SAPFF is a four year program covering Tanzania, Kenya and Nigeria with a budget of U$10million. “Small scale maize processors mostly known as Posho millers, account for 95 percent of the market share for maize flour.

The challenge is on how to bring them together to take part in the program as most of them operate in an informal way,” the SAPFF Program Manager added.

He further noted that as the program heads to its expiry date next year, it has so far only covered five percent of the small scale maize millers dominating the market. He said the program has already met the target of offering technical skills to large scale processors of wheat and maize flour and edible oil manufacturers.

 “Food fortification gives local producers the ability to compete in regional and global markets. As it heads to its end, the program has so far reached 18 large processors out of the targeted 21. Of the 18 processors, seven are maize flour processors, nine are edible oil manufacturers and the rest are large scale wheat processors,” Kaishozi noted.

He asserted that prior to the program, compliance by processors was way below 50 percent but with the program, fortification of wheat flour has reached 67 percent and edible oil is at 60 percent while maize flour is only five percent and mainly involves large scale milling companies.

He said the country has a total of 45 large and medium size processing plants for wheat, maize and edible oil manufacturers out of which 14 are wheat plants, 15 are maize millers and 16 are edible oil manufacturers.

“TechnoServe has been playing a role of providing technical support to the processors so that they can be able to add correct amounts of micro-nutrients to food stuffs. The essence of the program is to make local products meet global food fortification standards to safeguard consumers’ health,” he added.

One of the beneficiaries of the program, Oscar Mnisi who is also Chairman of Mid and Small scale Maize Milling plant owners called upon small scale millers to form cooperatives in areas where they operate so that they can be easily attended to but also be financially included.

“Fortified maize flour is on high demand in the market. Private and public schools are one of the big customers of fortified maize flour. With loans they can afford special milling machines that can enable them produce fortified maize flour. Our association has started a campaign to mobilize these small millers form associations,” Mnisi said.

TechnoServe food fortification beneficiary’s maize flour product.

Source: IPP Media