TANTRADE Director General, Mr Edwin Rutageruka said there is a need for stakeholders to come up with answers for addressing the spice segment’s bottlenecks that impede its development. He said, “The spices sector is growing fast given the increase in demand, therefore it is crucial for stakeholders to discuss better ways of dealing with them.”
The recently designated DG said this a few days ago during a meeting launch that united some of the spices stakeholders to talk about the sector’s difficulties in production and handling them.
He specified that interest and demand for spices was on the rise following its diverse uses in food, ingredients, cosmetics and medicines/drugs, therefore the requirement for higher spice generation. He remarked, “Our country is blessed with various climatic conditions suitable for the growth of various spices including cloves, vanilla and ginger among others.”
Mr Rutageruka added that the real test is the perception that spices was not an agribusiness crop prompting a low production. Insights in 2015/16 demonstrated that clove generation timed 3,500 tons, millet pepper 3,000 tons and ginger was at 7,000 tons.
The country’s production is on the low side in contrast with the European demand at 750,000 tons for every year. “Apart from international demand, the local demand of spices is huge. Its demand is vividly seen through the availability of many processing industries like Podravka Ltd,” he said.
He said Podravka production is positioned at 2.5 tons for each day which is 50% less compared to its capacity, thus constraining the manufacturing plant to import the rest. To improve the accessibility of raw material, the production line let local spice cultivators to supply around 17 spices required—since the demand remains on the higher side.
The Chairman of Tanzania Spices Association (TASPA), Ms Neema Matinde said spice cultivators are confronted with poor market framework as there are no perused accessible statistics. She said the meeting was vital since the sector faces various difficulties from growing to marketing and value addition.
The route forward is education and training on quality, cultivation, adding value and marketing. Ms Matinde said the meeting was held in a timely manner by TANTRADE consequently opening the sector up to investors.
A cultivator from Tanga, Mr Juma Mbwambo said the sector is vital however the growers neglected to fulfill the market demand.