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Quality and Quantity Needed in Tanzania

08 August 2008

TANZANIA - Officials in the Tanzanian livestock sector were recently challenged to help keepers improve the quality of livestock breeds and their products in order to boost export figures.

With a collective cattle herd tipping 18.8 million animals, Tanzania should be a major exporter of live animals and their products, reports the Daily News.

According to the news agency, experts in the sector have been challenged to offset the barriers that frustrate livestock trade at home and abroad. Last year, the then Minister for Livestock Development, Mr Anthony Diallo, threw this challenge when addressing experts and stakeholders.

Mr Diallo told the Daily News that with an 18.8 million-strong herd of cattle Tanzania came third in Africa in respect of cattle population after Ethiopia and Sudan. However, despite having such a huge herd Tanzania did not perform well in exports of cattle and their products.

He also gave the example of Botswana, a southern Africa nation that had a much smaller herd but featured more prominently on the world market for cattle and their products. He also said that Tanzania had huge pastureland but pastoralists kept migrating.

He said 98 per cent of Tanzanian cattle were predominantly the traditional small-value zebu or boran stock, which is raised by peasants who are also small-scale subsistence farmers. Most of them have no skills in improved animal husbandry, he said.

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