By Azania Post Reporter
THE government has said it intends to review meat import permits in order to protect Tanzanian industries and increase income to the livestock sector and state coffers.
Speaking from Mwanza, the Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Luhaga Mpina, said Tanzania has now improved its meat industry which can compete in foreign markets.
“We have a lot of livestock, let us import vehicles not meat I ask officials in my ministry to review meat import permits so that to enable our industries do exportation,” he said.
He said Tanzania mulls to ban meat import because most of local industries have improved quality and increase production which can be sold at any market worldwide
In early 2000, the government in collaboration with meat industry stakeholder realized the need to revitalize the industry.
The government organized a livestock sector stakeholders workshop, where major constraints for performance of the industry were identified and outlined measures.
Livestock products processing and marketing was identified as one of the major constraints and noted that, there is little value addition in the livestock value chains characterized by lack of grading of livestock and livestock products,
Others are lack of fattening of animal to improve quality prior to marketing, inadequate infrastructure for processing and poor handling, presentation and packaging of most livestock products.
Also processing, packaging materials costs were observed to be high, inadequate quality control and inadequate knowledge and skills among actors in the livestock value chains.
The challenge therefore was how to improve value addition in the livestock value chains at low cost.
Tanzania counts with the third largest livestock population on the African continent and the livestock sector contributes more than one tenth of the overall GDP.
The red meat sector is marginal depriving many people in rural areas particularly traditional herders and small scale farmers, but also urban dwellers from income opportunities related to improved animal production and value addition activities.
With the exception of a small high price quality meat segment, slaughtering and meat handling throughout the country is poor quality and causes enormous food safety and health hazards to the majority of the population.
The livestock population in the country both from traditional and commercial production is increasing as some farmers adopt improved production systems such as feedlot ting and commercial producers respond to demand for quality meat niche and export markets.