Pilot Food Fortification in Northern Tanzania

vitamia-a-oilManyara Region has a well-developed agricultural tradition; in recent years it has become a centre for sunflower cultivation. Much of the local sunflower seed is pressed into sunflower oil by 30-40 small and medium sized food enterprises in Babati, the region's capital, who find strong demand for their locally produced oil. Manyara also is one of the three regions of Tanzania reporting the highest levels of Vitamin A deficiency among local populations.

Vitamin A strengthens the body's immune system and is particularly needed by pregnant women and infants; children that fail to achieve proper nutritional levels by age two may suffer irreversible consequences in later development. Yet Vitamin A is inexpensive and is highly soluble in sunflower oil, spelling opportunity for Manyara's oil processors.

This pilot will assist three small-to-medium-sized Manyara sunflower processors to explore the feasibility of manufacturing and marketing Vitamin A fortified local sunflower oil, potentially reaching a local target market of over one million. The three companies requested MEDA to identify experts and provide expertise in nutrition, food fortification technology, business planning, and marketing. If the pilot is successful, the model will be sustainable and potentially replicable by other sunflower processors in Tanzania and beyond.

Project Quick Facts

Goal: Advise selected food processors in Manyara Region on manufacturing and marketing micronutrient fortified sunflower oil as a private sector response to Vitamin A deficits in local diets, thus voluntarily complying with recent Tanzanian food fortification regulations, improving the nutritional options for local consumers, and piloting a sustainable, replicable business model that utilizes locally produced crops in reaching vulnerable local populations

Reaching: 3 small-to-medium-sized enterprises directly and up to an additional 1 million local consumers indirectly

Funding: Small and Medium Enterprise Competitiveness Facility (SCF--funded by Royal Danish Embassy, Tanzania), the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation (MCIC), and MEDA

Project length: September 2012 - November 2013