Tanzania and Egypt are set to construct a mega meat processing plant in the country with a slaughtering capacity of 1,500 cows and 4,500 goats per day.
The plant `Ruvu Integrated Industry` , will provide a relief to livestock keepers since they will sell their livestock at better prices. Upon its completion, the industry is expected to create 5,000 employment opportunities. On Saturday 30TH March, the two sides through the National Ranching Company Limited (NARCO) and NECAI of Egypt signed an agreement for the construction of the plant to be situated at Ruvu ranch, Bagamoyo District in the Coastal Region.
Egypt has a vast meat market and this will eventually provide a market for Tanzanian livestock keepers. Tanzania has the third largest livestock population on the African continent comprising 25 million cattle, 98 per cent of which are indigenous breeds, complemented by 16.7 million goats, 8 million sheep, 2.4 million pigs and 36 million chickens.
The industry is also expected to produce leather products such as shoes, belts, handbags and livestock food. Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Luhanga Mpina said the establishment of the plant in the Coast region was a blessing for livestock keepers across the country, who have for years been searching for reliable markets.
`This is a message to other East African countries and Southern African Development Community (SADC) who have been buying livestock from Tanzania. We are soon going to export processed meat instead of livestock, ` he said. According to Mr. Mpina 1.4 per cent of livestock worldwide are from Tanzania and 11 per cent of livestock in Africa are found in the country. He pointed out therefore, that supply of raw materials to the established industries would be assured. The minister also instructed experts from both sides to wind up with feasibility study and make sure the agreement for the construction and running of the industry is signed in three months time.
The Egyptian Ambassador to Tanzania, Mr. Mohamed Gabel Abulwafa said his country had been attracted to invest in the livestock sector after learning the potentiality and the number of livestock in the country.