Dodoma — The Tanzanian government is estimated to lose Sh263.95 billion per year due to smuggling of livestock and other sector-related products, including raw leather and unprocessed milk.
The Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Mr Luhaga Mpina told the National Assembly as he tabled his ministry's budget for 2018/19 yesterday that he formed a team of experts which revealed that there was rampant smuggling of cattle, meat and milk.
According to him, over 1.6 million cows and 201.75 million kilogrammes of beef are being smuggled outside every year.
Mr Mpina also said that there has been smuggling of raw leather outside the country and importation of processed leather which is over demand.
He said smuggling of leather alone denied Tanzania revenue totaling at Sh87.46 billion per year. "Due to these challenges, my ministry decided to initiate a special anti-smuggling operation called Operesheni Nzagamba which will last for two months to June. The campaign which is implemented in partnership with other ministries and agencies aims at taming and regulating the sector as well as ensuring that the government is not losing any revenue," he said.
According to him, the operation is being implemented by police, intelligence and security department, the National Environmental Management Council and the ministries of livestock and fisheries and the President's Office - Regional Administration and Local Governments.
The livestock subsector accounted for 6.9 per cent of the Tanzania's GDP in 2017 compared with 7.7 per cent in 2016.
On the fisheries subsector, Mr Mpina said his ministry initiated the process of establishing a fisheries regulatory authority to supervise the sector.
The initiative is part of the measures his ministry was taking to address challenges that hamper the sector's growth and contribution to the economy.
Some of the challenges in the fisheries sector include decrease of processing industries, illegal fishing, illegal exportation and increased foreigners who enter and fish illegally.
Mr Mpina also some local authorities have been collecting revenue from fishing but the money are not spent to develop the sector.
"The ministry has taken different measured including the Operesheni Sangara 2018 which aimed at taming illegal fishing," he said.
According to him, the operation resulted into collecting Sh7.03 billion from fines and selling of fish and its products.
Fisheries subsector accounted for 2.2 per cent of the GDP in 2017 and 2.0 per cent in 2016.