8-8 Nane-Nane

Eight – eight, or, in Kiswahili, Nane-Nane. It refers to the 8th of August, a national holiday comemorizing agriculture and its development. More than 30% of the GDP is generated by agriculture and 75% of the workforce make a living in farming. This shows the significance the sector has for the economy of the country.

Vegetable garden of Tanzanian Prison Guards at Nane-Nane. Photo: Evely Breitenbach

On this day there are seven huge agricultural exhibitions taking place all over the country. Ngongo, a village near Lindi Town, hosts the exhibition for the southern regions of Tanzania. Governmental organizations as well as private companies show new ideas, projects and products for the agricultural industry. This exhibition is well known and well attended.

We were amazed to see the Tanzanian Prison Guards exhibit here. They do business with quality seeds and lifestock breeding like geese, chicken, goats and cows. I was impressed that prisoners are working in these industries and receive training, so that, after they have served their sentence, they have a better chance to find work and rehabilitate.

Alexander talking to an officer of the Tanzanian Prison Guards. Photo: Evelyn Breitenbach

We then visited SIDO (Small Industries Development Organisation), who are specialised in training small and medium sized businesses of all industries.

Next to them was the booth of the Tanzanian Bureau of Standards (TBS), who – in international cooperation – standardise workprocesses and products. We talked to one of the representatives.

The booth of Tanzanian Bureau of Standards (TBS). Photo: Evelyn Breitenbach

“What are the costs for a small or medium sized business to get a TBS certificate for their products?” I asked.
“We do not bill them. We take their products and test them in our laboratories. Are quality, packing, labeling and the production process according to our standards, then we grant the certificate and they may use our logo on their product.”
“Now there are many small businesses which cannot afford to have a location separate from where they live, as this is one prerequirement demanded by TBS.”
“We do help these people, too by giving them advice and training which is free of charge so that they can produce in a clean environment under hygenical conditions even where they live. Their products cannot carry the logo, of course, but they will get the chance to sell their products to shops, supermarkets and gastronomy and are no longer dependent on selling on the street.

We were surprised how much effort Tanzanians put into their agricultural industry. Innovation and improvement of quality are priority. But in the rural coastal regions there is still much informing and training of farmers to be done.

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