TANZANIA will soon become one of the main poultry producers in East and Central Africa following news that large breeding estates are set to be established in Kilimanjaro and hatching factories built in Coast Region.
Yes, the move to establish breeding estates and hatching factories will benefit all East and Central African countries. With the establishment of the factories, East and Central African countries will move from importing chicken to exporting the birds.
The establishment of the factories places Tanzania to fourth number in Africa in producing the drought and disease resistant breed of chicken through high technology. Two companies, Irvines Tanzania and Tyson Foods of United States, have teamed up to establish factories in the country.
The two companies' major investments include the Kiliwest farms located in the Siha District, Kilimanjaro Region. The farms are set to go into operation this month. Another investment, 'Kerege Hatchery' ,will be established in Bagamoyo District, Coast Region, by July, this year.
For some time, local small scale poultry farming has been facing the likelihood of imminent collapse because of imported chicken, particularly from Brazil and the United States. The imports have been increasingly causing thousands of farmers to lose income and lay off workers while such poultry products expose the country to diseases and other related problems.
According to Irvines Tanzania, the breeding will start with 250,000 Cobb 500 parent broilers per week. The number is set to increase to 500,000 Cobb in a week or 2 million broilers in a month. It is obvious, the said number is sufficient to feed all Tanzanian chicken consumers and also export the surplus to other East African countries and beyond.
It is obvious that local poultry farmers have for years been struggling to end the importation of chicken from abroad. However, the move has been impossible due to lack of reliable poultry breeding estates and hatching factories.
With the establishment of rare chicken breeder in the country, local poultry farmers gain a lot by way of boosting their income and also provide them with nutritious chicken egg and meat for their own consumption. The two companies will also help the government to easily control diseases such as bird flu, protect local industries and poultry farmers.
Recently, Tanzania banned the importation of chicks and chicken meat. The establishment of breeding estates and hatching factories goes in line with the government's intention to control diseases and protect the local market.
As we start counting 360 days of 2018, poultry farmers have already started to count blessings following the good news on the establishment of breeding estates and hatching factories in the country.