Fortification of Wheat Flour and Vegetable Oil in Tanzania

The Government of Tanzania, which has been strongly committed to improving nutrition, has established the National Nutrition Strategy (2009–2015), which states that food fortification is a cost-effective strategy to reduce prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies. Efforts include advocating for industry to adopt and sustain food-fortification activities in line with standards, and for legislation for the fortification of wheat flour and oil. The National Food Fortification Alliance (NFFA) provides leadership and supports initiatives that enable industry to initiate fortification in line with current legislation.

Country: Tanzania

Start: June 2011

Duration: June 2011­–February 2014

Overview

The Government of Tanzania, which has been strongly committed to improving nutrition, has established the National Nutrition Strategy (2009–2015), which states that food fortification is a cost-effective strategy to reduce prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies. Efforts include advocating for industry to adopt and sustain food-fortification activities in line with standards, and for legislation for the fortification of wheat flour and oil. The National Food Fortification Alliance (NFFA) provides leadership and supports initiatives that enable industry to initiate fortification in line with current legislation.

GAIN entered into a grant with Helen Keller International (HKI) in June 2011 to support the fortification of wheat flour and vegetable oil in Tanzania. This project helped to catalyse multiple stakeholder action to finalise national standards and ultimately approve and announce mandatory food-fortification legislation in July 2011, with enforcement beginning in May 2013. The government provides a tax exemption for imported premix for the national fortification program.

One of the key innovations in this project was the establishment of the “Premix Hub” in Dar es Salaam. The GAIN premix facility (GPF) partnered with Philips Pharmaceutical Tanzania Ltd (a local premix supplier) and Helen Keller International. Sourcing premix through the local hub has enabled Tanzanian food producers to access affordable, quality vitamin and mineral premix in a cost-effective way.

Project Goals

  • Contribute to a reduction in the prevalence of vitamin A deficiencies among women of reproductive age and children aged 6 to 59 months, by fortifying vegetable oil with vitamin A.
  • Contribute to a reduction in the prevalence of anemia among women, children aged 6 to 59 months; and children 5 to 14 years of age; by fortifying wheat flour with iron (NaFeEDTA), zinc, folic acid, and vitamin B12).

Partners

  • Tanzania Food and Drug Authority  (TFDA)
  • Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre (TFNC)
  • Tanzania Bureau of Standards
  • Helen Keller International