ADDITIONAL investment is needed to close the projected red meat production consumption gap of 1.7 million tonnes in the next 15 years which is driven by poor animal genetics, health and feed constraints.
The Tanzania Livestock Master Plan (TLM) 2018 shows that the projected all meat production with additional investment in the livestock sector is estimated at 3.2 million metric tonnes in the period under review.
The extremely limited access to land for grazing and feed production and ability to raise the genetic potential of local ruminant breeds in the medium to long term means that the red meat production shortage is unlikely to be closed in this period.
With additional investment, the master plan developed by the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries states that the self-sufficiency rate will increase from 35 per cent to 105 per cent.
This will eventually result into a surplus of 158 thousand metric tonnes which represents a potentially exportable quantity of not only primarily beef, but also perhaps other ruminant meats namely goat meat and mutton to surrounding countries and even surplus chicken and eggs.
Moreover, raising white meat productivity would help close the projected all-meat consumption-production gap projected in 15 years, thus helping to achieve better food security and enable red meat exports.
However, the improvement of white meat requires a focus on controlling newcastle disease and African swine fever disease in chicken and pigs, respectively, to increase their productivity and their off-take and meat production.
It also stated that a deficit of about 234,000 tonnes of white meat is projected where additional investment lacks, resulting in a total of all meat deficit of two million tonnes.
Furthermore industrializing white meat production in large commercial-scale operations and investing in industrial-scale processing for product transformation and value addition would likely lead to lower domestic meat prices, while enabling an increase in exports and foreign exchange earnings by enabling red meat to be exported. Beef is the dominant component of the red meat consumed in Tanzania, along with goat meat and sheep meat.