Dodoma — THE Ministry of Livestock Development and Fisheries has announced plans to im- prove the sector with special focus on revamping and construction of leather industries.
Moving his ministry's bud- get estimates for the financial year 2014/15 amounting to 66.1bn/- here on Thursday evening, Dr Titus Kamani told the National Assembly that animal hides, if well processed, could generate substantial revenue for the government.
He said during the coming financial year it was planned to revamp and construct tanneries in 75 municipalities. Dr Kamani said the minis- try was devising a special strategy under which they will mobilise and support producers to ensure they observe guidelines so that skins and hides produced in the country can win the international market.
The minister said the government would make a close follow-up on the skins and hides production process from the slaughterhouses to the industries to ensure animal skins are not exported illegally.
Dr Kamani said the minis- try has been facilitating various stakeholders with a view to ensuring that the sector's development goals were met.
To ensure that the expect- ed results are attained, they planned to train 130 personnel from 65 municipalities country- wide, with the ultimate goal of revamping and developing the leather industry to international standards.
Regarding livestock development, he said, they were collaborating with the Ministry of Industry and Trade on facilitating livestock keepers to ensure they sold processed products for their own and the nation's improved well-being.
He said the sector has been facing a number of challenges including lack of enough re- sources to cater for a number of development projects and inadequate investments in the two sectors. Moreover, increasing operational costs had triggered a hike in the prices of meat, fish and other products obtained from the livestock and fisheries sectors.
In addressing the challenges, the minister said a number of initiatives had been taken including mobilising the private sector to invest in the areas by giving them special incentives. Presenting the sectoral committee's report, the committee chairman, Prof Peter Msolla, said there was a need to invest in the tannery sector if the country was keen on boosting its coffers.
He said because little in- vestment had been made in this sector, its potential to contribute to the nation's economy was yet to be fully exploited.
Prof Msolla said opportunities in the fisheries sector were yet to be tapped, as a result it has been producing for local consumption instead of venturing into the international market. He underscored the need for large-scale fishing, saying with the available local resources potential entrepreneurs should be encouraged to venture into the area.
The shadow minister, Ms Rose Kamili, challenged the government to look into the possibility of supporting local small-scale fishermen, so they venture into large-scale fishing.