Can Tanzania’s livestock master plan prove billions?

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Livestock keeping is profitable in Tanzania, especially now, when livestock rearing gathers viable potential amidst growing meat, skin and diary demands.

The sub-sector undoubtedly generates millions to serious investors, but it stands to generate billions to the entire nation, under ameliorated sectorial strategies.

On March 10, 2019, Tanzania brought to life, the Livestock Master Plan (TLMP) which allocated over $ 608 million in its realization, 64 per cent of the funding is foreseen to be fetched from the private sector and 36 per cent originating from government funding.

The TLMP is a five-year plan strictly set up to address major challenges facing the sector and transform via guiding viable investments in major profitable subsectors.

In realization of the grand plan, the government of Tanzania requested: the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) provided technical assistance and training to the Tanzania Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries in a project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

According to the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, the number of cattle has increased in the fiscal year 2018/2019 standing at 32. 2 million from 30.5 million in 2017/2018, goats increased to 20 million from 18.8, sheep stand at 5.5 million and chicken: hybrid chicken rose to 40.6 million while traditional species chicken were 38. 5 million.

Further, the livestock sector grew by 4.9 per cent in 2018 and contributed by 7.6 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Further, the ministry pointed out that: milk production rose from 2.4 liters in 2017/2018 to 2.7 liters (by April 2019), which is equivalent to a 12.5 per cent increase.

The encouraging growth is attributed to significant improvement in sectorial investment environment and increment of charges per imported liter of milk, which rose from $ 0.065 (TSH 150) to $ 0.87 (TSH 2000).

Tanzania stands to fetch billions from the sub-sector, whereas the ministry records show that, in the fiscal year 2018/2019—Tanzania garnered over $ 608.4 million from livestock, cattle leading the list, which was sold around 2, 253,100, compared to 1,614,321 in 2017/2018.

READ: Sector Overview: East Africa’s Livestock sector

Master plan potential

According to ILRI, TLMP displays several crucial strategies to boost the livestock sector including the establishment of more ranches for meat cattle; growing or importing more feed, increasing the coverage of vaccines for local chicken and better management of African swine fever.

The TLMP also calls for the improvement of technical expertise in the sector via the introduction of enhanced capacity building programmes, and the establishment of more industries for meat production, milk processing, and leather processing.

Further, the National Bureau of Statistics of Tanzania (NBS) data ranks Tanzania second in Africa in terms of cattle population. More importantly, livestock-related activities contribute only 7.4 per cent to nation’s GDP and growth of the livestock sector at 2.6 per cent which is significantly low compared to the available potential.

In that context, over time and space, the absence of a strategic plan to develop the livestock sector has persistently hampered the successful implementation of previous investment plans for the sector.

During the launch of the plan, Barry Shapiro, a senior livestock development advisor at ILRI and team leader for the development of the TLMP, said that the livestock sector accounts for around 30-40% of agricultural economies in many developing countries, but public investment often accounts for only three to four per cent.

Hence, the TLMP development team found that 70% of potential value-added livestock products are not realized because Tanzania lacks sufficient industries.

However, the master plan is set to address the problem at hand and other challenges via training government experts and planners to carry out fact-based and realistic investment planning and implementation

Present sectorial potential

However, according to the Ministry records, meat production has not disappointed, up to March 2019, production stood at 690,692 tones, compared to 679, 992 in 2017/2018.

On the contrary, Tanzania has taken yet considerable initiatives in securing and improving internal meat markets, by meliorating sectorial investment environments and effective management of meat importation, which resulted in 63.15 per cent reduction in meat importation.

This occurred between fiscal year 2017/2018 where 1,401.96 tons (equivalent to $4.3 million) were imported, while in 2018/2019 only 514 tons were imported worth of over $2.16 million

Further, hides stand at a greater benefiting ground to the sector, whereby up to 16,012 tons from goats, sheep and cows were produced in 2018/ 2019 worth of over 9.9 million, while in 2017/2018 around 15,000 tons were produced equivalent to $ 9.8 million.

In the fiscal year 2018/2019, the ministry had a concise collection target of over $ 8 million, of which by May 2019, over $ 14.6 million was gathered from the livestock sector, which accounted for 183.1 per cent of the sector collection target.

Patently, the government of Tanzania envisions collecting more at the same time enhance its revenue collection methodologies within the sector’s stream, particularly within the livestock sector.

Per Ministry 2018/ 2019 revenue generation data, market fee (22 per cent), export duty license fees (13 per cent), fines (9 per cent), services related to livestock keeping such as vaccinations ( over $ 2 million), cow sales (2 per cent) and movement permits (23 per cent) are recorded as the prime sources of revenue to the sub-sector.

In relation to the presidential document of 2002 which directed all district councils across Tanzania to contribute only 15 per cent of their livestock revenue, the ministry executed a comprehensive evaluation on the latter within 2017/ 2018.

The ministry results prove Tanzania can secure billions under careful and calculated sectorial decisions, whereby—out of 185 councils, 130 councils collected over $7 million and $ 596,899 (7.9 per cent of the total collection) was allocated on livestock sector development.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Tanzania holds 1. 4 per cent of the globe cattle production and 11 per cent of African cattle production share. Also, the livestock sector employs over 50 per cent of the population, which means 4.6 million homes depend on livestock sector for their livelihoods.

In realization of the context, TLMP aligns perfectly with other relevant and strategic long and mid-term plans, including development plans including Tanzania Development Vision 2025, National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty  (MKUKUTA) and Vision 2020.

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Padili Mikomangwa is an environmentalist based in Tanzania. . He is passionate about helping communities be aware of critical issues cutting across, environmental economics and natural resources management. He holds a bachelors degree in Geography and Environmental Studies from University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

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