Livestock infrastructure management body in offing

TANZANIA: THE government plans to establish an institution that will oversee livestock infrastructures to increase efficiency in the livestock industry and contribute to economic growth.

The Acting Director of Veterinary Services (DVS) from the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Dr Benezeth Lutege told the `Daily News’ in a telephone interview from Dodoma on Thursday that the institution would facilitate the provision of technical assistance to qualified developers that will contribute to the provision of livestock infrastructure along livestock value chains.

“The institute will manage all livestock infrastructure and develop them as well as manage existing laws so that the industry can be productive nationally and internationally,” he said.

He said also that the institution will develop, manage and encourage the sustainable use of infrastructure and access to markets for livestock products as well as carry out the development and administration of the law and manage the implementation of policies, laws, plans and strategies to develop the livestock sector.

Dr Lutege said the institute will be launched within this financial year 2023/2024. He said currently, the government has formed a team of experts to conduct an in-depth analysis to propose how the institution carries out its tasks and recommend measures to increase productivity.

“The experts are at work where they will come up with recommendations on how the comprehensive institute will work with its responsibilities so that the livestock infrastructure can be productive nationally and internationally,” said Dr Lutege.

He said that the committee was given two weeks to finish the task, thus next week it is supposed to submit its recommendations. He said, that currently, the infrastructure is under the councils who mostly were not responsible enough to set the required quality of the products as well as poor maintenance of livestock infrastructure.

“Existing infrastructure generates revenue through local and central government but resources are not ploughed back to grow the sector. Local governments lack the technical know-how to develop livestock infrastructure, and much effort is devoted to revenue collection,” said Dr Lutege adding there is insufficient livestock infrastructure to support the rapidly expanding markets for livestock and livestock products in urban, regional and international markets.

Since there is no systematic mechanism and coordination for the development of livestock infrastructure, Dr Lutege said that the existence of the institute will help to solve the challenges. Some of the infrastructures are namely dips, auctions and slaughterhouses.

For example, the Vingunguti slaughterhouse was built on international standards but it operates on low standards because of lacking proper supervision.

All those infrastructures are under the council where they collect taxes. He said the institute will assist in categorising public investment in livestock infrastructure for management and oversight under different jurisdictions such as national, regional, council or village infrastructure.

Moreover, it will establish a master plan for the development of livestock infrastructure, prepare feasibility studies for strategic investment in livestock infrastructure as well as publicise opportunities for public and private sector investment in livestock infrastructure.

Dr Lutege added that the institute will boost income for livestock keepers through increased market access and offtake and reduce mortality. Either it will increase government revenue through improved tax administration and increased investment in infrastructure and processing facilities.

The institute will also reduce livestock–farmers’ conflict as well as Improve environmental management. Dr Lutege said previously there was a proposal for the establishment of the Livestock Infrastructure Development Agency (LIDA).

However, he said after the government merged 16 public institutions and abolished four others in a bid to enhance efficiency. It is from this point that the government started the process of establishing a new institution to oversee the livestock infrastructure.

“Initially, the government had a plan to establish a board that would manage infrastructure livestock and processing livestock but after the government merged they decided to establish one comprehensive institution to manage all livestock industry,” said Dr Lutege.

In December last year, the government merged 16 public institutions and abolished four others in a bid to enhance efficiency.

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