TANZANIA is now eyeing the regional growing meat demand following the construction of a border market at Namanga in Longido District. The 785mn/- border market will see livestock such as cattle, goats and sheep sold to Kenya and South Sudan.
Detailing the market's prospects to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Water last week, Permanent Secretary in the Livestock and Fisheries Ministry, Prof Elisante Ole Gabriel, said the border market is set to stimulate economic activities at the ever busy border post. "Upon its completion, this market will be tapping in 12m/- worth of revenues from livestock sale," disclosed the PS.
Prof Gabriel was optimistic that customers and traders from Kenya and South Sudan would now be flocking to the border market, thereby spurring the area's economy. The country has the third largest stocks on the continent with more than 30 million cattle.
Late last year, President John Magufuli announced the country's intention of exporting livestock to Kenya, both in herds and meat products. President Magufuli says Tanzania is among the top holders of beef cattle in East Africa and third in Africa.
"Right now we have an estimated to 30 million cattle. I am told by President Kenyatta that Kenyans, who are estimated at 45 million, all love meat. We want to get hold of that market," said the President while commissioning the One Stop Border Post (OSBP) at the Namanga border last November. The border market which sits on 100 acres of land is built adjacent to a yet to be open modern slaughterhouse.
"It will also have a holding ground where livestock will be placed under quarantine for at least two weeks before they are sold," Deputy Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Mr Abdallah Ulega said.
According to the minister, the operationalisation of the border market will help address livestock smuggling into neighbouring countries which has a common practice over the years.
A member of the parliamentary standing committee Prof Sospeter Muhongo advised the government to conduct economic intelligence to ascertain why livestock from Tanzania was the most sought after commodities by neighbouring countries.
"This will help establish where to improve with a view of tapping into the otherwise potential market," he said. Longido District is mainly inhabited by the pastoral Maasai tribe and agro-pastoral Arusha people.