TZ reaps 160bn/- from reformed livestock sector

DAR ES SALAAM: GOVERNMENT’S efforts to strengthen the livestock sector have enabled the country to reap over 64 million US dollars (about 160bn/-) accrued through the exports of meat, milk and pieces of hides and skins in the 2022/2023 financial year.

The Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Mr Abdallah Ulega disclosed this on Wednesday while officiating at the Tanzania Showcase Livestock: Unveiling opportunities and potential of livestock event as part of the Africa Food System Forum 2023, which is continuing in Dar es Salaam.

“The export value with regard to the sector stands at 14.7 thousand tonnes of meat, 65,000 kilogramme of milk and 800,000 pieces of hides and skins, together accumulating 61.4 million US dollars 435,000 US dollars, and 2.4 million US dollars respectively,” said Mr Ulega.

According to the minister, the sector is a major economic activity in at least 2.2 million Tanzania households, equivalent to 35 per cent, contributing to production of 805,000 tonnes of meat, 3.6 billion litres of milk, 5.5 billion eggs, 14.1 million pieces of hides and skins.

He, however, indicated that products generated from livestock contribute to the per capita consumption of 15 kgs of meat, 62 litres of milk, and 106 eggs per year against the respective recommended rates of 50 kgs, 200 litres per person, and 300 eggs.

The minister outlined the various potentials suitable for investment in the livestock sector, including availability for arable land that can support pasture seed and pasture production. Also, a large livestock population, indicating that Tanzania is endowed with a high number of livestock resources of about 77 million.

He also identified the diverse agro-ecological zones that support production of different types of livestock, citing the example of the Southern highland zone, which favours dairy production, central and Lake zones favours beef cattle and goats, Northern highlands beef cattle and sheep.

“We have a readily available market of livestock and livestock products in Tanzania with human population of 61 million, regional market within the East Africa Community (EAC) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) with a human population of more than 1.4 billion,” he noted.

Among others potentials are improved and conducive business environment in the country which includes waiving some of the taxes, fees and non-tariff barriers in the trade of livestock and livestock products and growing financial services such as insurance services that has been extended to livestock industry.

Presence of conducive and stable political environment and the potential of a high number of human capitals including youths and women were identified as among critical areas.

The minister underlined some of the interventions and opportunities focused on boosting commercial livestock production to increase supply of raw materials for processing industries.

Such interventions include the implementation of Livestock Sector Transformation Plan (LSTP), which encompasses seven including improving animal breeds through artificial insemination and the use of improved breeding bulls, strengthening pasture and water development by establishing commercial farms for pasture and pasture seed production.

He mentioned other initiatives as strengthening animal health systems through vaccination campaigns and control of ticks and tick-borne diseases, enhancing extension services by equipping extension officers with extension kits and transportation, research and training.

The list of initiatives also include the value addition of livestock products, creating an enabling environment for business and investment and mainstreaming employment opportunities agenda through engagement of youth and women in the auspices of Building a Better Tomorrow through Livestock and Fisheries Entrepreneurs (BBT-LIFE).

“We have recruited 240 youth in the programme of BBT – LIFE, whereby the beneficiaries have been acquainted with the necessary innovative mind transformation, entrepreneurship skills, and business-oriented perspectives and are expected to significantly contribute to increased production, value addition and employment inclusion,” he stated.

He added: “The use of a food-based approach in the prevention of malnutrition is one of top global priorities. Animal source foods have scientifically proven to have best quality proteins with all essential amino acids needed by the body.

We also promote uptake of other nutrients thus helping in the prevention of malnutrition. Global nutrition report shows that investing in nutrition is the most cost-effective driver for development and prosperity as every one dollar invested in nutrition generates 16 dollars in return.”

Mr Ulega called for robust investment partnership in achieving this important continental goal to cope with the exploding global population.

“We are creating an enabling environment and ready to feed the world,” he stressed.

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