TZ eyes to become leading meat exporter

TANZANIA eyes to transform traditional livestock keeping into modern livestock keeping by staging a feedlot and livestock Traceability System (TANLITS) that will foster red meat in the export market.

Speaking to the ‘Daily News’ in a telephone interview from Dodoma recently, Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Director of Research, Training and Extension Angello Mwilawa said the ministry had set up various research and training centres to groom young graduates to adopt the system of a feedlot that goes hand in hand with government efforts in introducing TANLITS.

“The government wants to revolutionise this livestock sector to become more competitive and attract more young graduates to utilise existing opportunities in the global market because there is demand for red meat,” he said.

He explained that the ministry had so far eight training and research centres of incubators – three in Tanga, three in Mwanza, Misungwi and two in Karangwe and had a total number of 240 young graduates from Livestock Training Agents and Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA).

Mr Mwilawa stressed that taking into consideration the position of the country, the livestock feedlot system was going to be a game changer for the growth of the sector in terms of GDP.

“In fact, the government has financed these young graduates to develop their skills by feeding cattle and looking for the market in fish processing industries in the country. This programme will eventually shine in the global market if stakeholders in the sector agree to utilise TANLITS,” he noted.

In an exclusive interview in Dar es Salaam last week, S and J Animal Tech Company senior official Shanel Ngowi said this move will not only modernise the sector, but would also place the country in the global meat market.

“We want to bring the value of red meat to the world market by implementing this system that will revamp, restructure and foster the livestock sector to have international standards,” he said.

Mr Ngowi added that they were eyeing to sell more quality red meat in the export market if stakeholders in the country would government efforts in implementing effectively a two-strategy system.

He further said that the new method of identification of livestock in the country would strengthen the availability of statistics and put an end to cattle theft and introduce the country to the world meat market.

Mr Ngowi said this system would enhance the improvement of cattle keeping, food safety and regulate the movement of livestock, while promoting acceptable international standards that would be adhered to by livestock keepers across the country.

“I can assure that if stakeholders in the sector support this system the nation will eventually rise to the top of the red meat market in the international market because we are blessed with enough land and a large number of livestock.”

He added that ear tag technology was a rare opportunity for Tanzania to advertise itself to the international market and open its doors for investment in red meat processing industries.

Mr Ngowi explained that this programme would improve data collection and would pave the way for the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries to create a database that would be available to anyone, who wanted to have livestock information.

“This is basically the new system used by other countries across the world. For example, in Namibia, they have been very successful through this system of putting earrings on cattle and selling their meat as far as New York, US. It is a good system and the best way for the government to get income as well as livestock keepers and create jobs,” said Mr Ngowi.

For his part, former cabinet minister and retired Board Chairman of National Ranches (Narco) Paul Kimiti said it was important that the government through the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries continued providing education to livestock keepers and other stakeholders in the sector, to equip them with the knowledge of TANLITS.

He explained that cattle identification was an easy way to attract investors in this country because Tanzania had quality livestock and it was easy for investors to know the type of cattle and even if there were a disease outbreak, it was easy to track where livestock came from and be able to control the disease.

Mr Silvestry Koka, who is Member of Parliament for Kibaha Urban and a stakeholder, this system would pave the way for livestock keepers to access loans from financial institutions and do away with the traditional way of cattle keeping.

“After the effective implementation of this system livestock keepers will be recognised because the government will have a database with all requisite information about livestock and livestock keepers.”

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