Development of market opportunities through post-harvest processing of the African indigenous vegetables in Tanzania
This research paper (PDF) in the African Journal of Business Management examined the challenges associated with production of processed African indigenous vegetables (AIVs) and possible market opportunities. AIVs have gained prominence in the recent past due to nutritional and health benefits. The low requirement for high value inputs has enabled low resource farmers to practice AIVs production. Post-harvest processing of AIVs provides market opportunities for the farmers. Value addition occasioned by increased shelf life provides better chances for farmers and processors to get good prices and better farm incomes. The share of processed AIVs in the total consumption of the vegetables was 25% and demand for all types of processed AIVs is increasing. Quality of processed AIVs was perceived to be same as that of the fresh AIVs and consumers were willing to pay more money for processed AIVs. It was established that processors did not have the necessary skills, knowledge and training required for processing of AIVs in more economically attractive ways. There was no diversity in the processing methods and processed products, and processors did not have special storage facilities for the AIVs. Proper packaging should be associated with good storage to avoid spoilage. It is necessary to create awareness amongst the processors regarding the need for high quality AIVs products, roles of the regulatory organizations and the importance of operating within the required legal framework.