Agriculture contributes to 29% of the Tanzania GDP, with the government keen to build a 21st century agro-industrialised nation. To achieve this, it is essential for the private and public sectors to work closely to remove bottlenecks to ensure collective gains in both sectors, from the bottom up, with the key beneficiaries being smallholder farmers shifting from subsistence farming to agribusinesses in their own right.
On Friday 10th August 2018, the Tanzanian Minister of Livestock and Fisheries, Hon. Luhaga Mpina (MP) paid SAGCOT Centre Ltd (SCL) a visit, to discuss ways in which the Ministry could work extensively with the private sector to improve the livestock and fisheries industries in the country, with SCL CEO, Geoffrey Kirenga.
The discussion explored the various challenges livestock keepers, aquaculture and agribusinesses faced in milk production and processing of livestock and fisheries products. These ranged from dairy products, beef, leather and leather products, access to animal feeds and improved pasture to ensure healthier herds for improved quality of milk, as well as logistical challenges of transporting milk to processors, and the existing low demand for processed dairy products such as milk.
“The farmers are our pillars, if we don’t invest in the farmers, the livestock industry won’t grow,” Hon Mpina emphasized.
Kirenga shared various ways in which Tanzania and the rest of the East African Community (EAC), could collaborate with its private sectors in areas of research, provide opportunities for import substitutions of livestock and fish products that, at the moment, costs our countries millions of US Dollars. Value addition of locally produced products remains a key and necessary strategy to achieve this goal.
“You have to prioritize areas of improvement in order to get maximum impact,” Kirenga stated.
The meeting further identified key areas of setbacks in the growth of the Tanzanian private sector ranging from limited skills, experience, technologies and capital to bolster the sector. It was further agreed that it was essential to encourage more collaborations within the private sector where numerous businesses work in isolation.
The SAGCOT Centre Ltd’s Policy department, through the Policy Analysis Group (PAG), has been directed to convene with the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) to collectively review and table a proposal on priority areas for the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries. This review should be done within a month. The Policy Analysis Group is a strategic policy partnership consisting of representatives from the private and public sectors of Tanzania.