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'Capitalise on meat price hike '

'Capitalise on meat price hike '

The government has urged pastoralists to take advantage of the increased meat demand by investing more in the sector.

Deputy Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Mr Abdallah Ulega said that high demand of meat open up more markets which pastoralists can reap huge returns.

Rising demand for meat has pushed the prices of the food commodity up in various parts of the country as it currently fetches between 7000 /- and 9000/- per kilogram compared to previous prices of between 6000/- and 6500/- per kilogram.

The increase in meat prices is attributed to the increasing demand in meat processing industries and insufficient cattle supply which drove pastoralists not to sell cattle during this time, alleging that the herd had lost weight owing to a lack of feed and water.

Deputy Minister of Livestock and Fisheries, Mr Abdallah Ulega, said yesterday in Dodoma that, the recent complaints of increased meat prices indicate the sector's growth thus advising pastoralists to take advantage of the situation.

Presenting a report on Tanzania Meat Board performance to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Water, Mr Ulega noted that previously, pastoralists complained about lack of markets for their cattle but they should view the recent increased demand as an opportunity.

"Now is the greatest time for pastoralists to increase their investments in the sector because the country also sells meat in international markets," he said.

Registrar of the Tanzania Meat Board (TMB), Dr Daniel Mushi informed the committee that the recent meat shortage, which caused the price of meat to rise, provided an opportunity for commercial farming and cattle fattening.

Registrar of the Tanzania Meat Board (TMB), Dr Daniel Mushi informed the committee that the recent meat shortage, which pushed the price up, provided an opportunity for commercial farming and cattle fattening.

Dr Mushi explained that the government's present goal is to foster the presence of groups for fattening livestock to obtain better livestock in response to current market demand, particularly in the meat processing industries.

He also stated that, Tanzania will soon begin exporting meat to the Saudi Arabian market through existing facilities, with a need of 6,000 tonnes per year, a situation that will greatly assist in the development of the country's livestock sector.

Registrar of the Tanzania Veterinary Council (RVCT), Dr Bedan Masuruli, said Foot and mouth disease (FMD), which affects livestock and causes Tanzania to be unable to export meat to some foreign countries, has had a significant impact on foreign trade and is caused by the presence of wildlife.

He explained that some of the firms that have been granted permission to export meat hold animals in quarantine before slaughtering them to guarantee that they do not carry diseases that are not harmful to humans.

Chairperson of the committee Dr Christine Ishengoma, speaking at the end of the session, recommended the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries to continue to properly manage the cattle sector to enhance revenue by selling livestock and its products domestically and internationally.

According to Dr Ishengoma, the ministry must ensure that livestock keepers are given the knowledge and skills they need to gain access to land, water, and financing to enhance breeds.

According to the ministry, the number of cattle (local and those culled from dairy operations) to feedlots is expected to reach 1.2 million by 2022, a 268 per cent increase. Sheep and goat are also key contributors to projected red meat production, showing increases of 19 per cent to 6 million and 36 per cent to 24 million respectively by 2022.

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