Vienna: United Nations Industrial Development Organization, 2004. — 107 p.Production methods, equipment and quality assurance practices. UNIDO Technology Manual. UNIDO has emphasized micro/small-scale business development it its technical assistance programmes as a means to contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction in Africa in general and Uganda in particular. This technology manual is an important tool that contributes to the capacity building activities carried out by UNIDO in the small-scale food processing sector within the framework of the UNIDO Uganda Integrated Programme: Enhanced Competitiveness and Sustainability of Industrial Development - Agro-industries and Micro/Small-scale Enterprises. The purpose of this manual is to guide small-scale processors in the Ugandan fruits and vegetables sector to optimize their processing methods and implement quality assurance schemes and GHP (Good Hygienic Practices) and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) programmes thus building their technical capacity for improved market access and competitiveness. In general, fruit and vegetable processing offers good opportunities for small-scale businesses in Uganda. This is because: Raw materials are readily available (often in surplus) Most equipment is reasonably affordable and The products, if chosen correctly, have a good demand and can be profitable. Processing fruits and vegetables is intended to do two things: To preserve them by slowing down the natural processes of decay caused by microorganisms, enzymes in the food, or other factors such as heat, moisture and sunlight. To change them into different foods, which are attractive and in demand by consumers. Like chefs and caterers, processors should use their skills to develop attractive recipes and make products that consumers want to eat. By doing this successfully, they can increase sales and earn an income. Processors must choose their products very carefully. It is not enough to assume that processing can be a successful business simply because there is plenty of cheap fruit available. There must be a good demand for the processed food and this must be clearly identified before a business is set up. The best types of products for small-scale production are those that have a high ‘added-value’ as well as a good demand. A high added value means that cheap raw materials can be processed into relatively expensive products. It also means that this can be done at a small scale of processing using equipment that is affordable. Small-scale fruit and vegetable processors have many competitors in Uganda as well as competing with imported products. To be profitable, it is therefore essential to have good quality products, attractive packaging and a well-managed business. To successfully compete, a business should do everything it can to make products at competitive prices and develop new ones that they are different to those of competitors.
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