Dar es Salaam — The Tanzania Meat Board (TMB) has said that the country has managed to cut meat imports by almost three times from 1,401.96 to 516.63 tonnes in just a year.
The reduction is attributed to various efforts undertaken by the government to improve local investment climate to attract more investors in the meat industry and impose strict measures to control imports of livestock-related products.
TMB Registration Officer Geoffrey Sosthenes said that various measures undertaken by the government were aimed at increasing domestic meat production for local consumption and export.
Mr Sosthenes said in 2017/2018 Tanzania imported 1,404.96 tonnes of mean but in 2018/2019 the imports dropped to 516.63 tonnes. Meat exports for 2018/2019 were 1,759 tonnes worth $3.9 million.
"This reduction is a huge success because when imports are high it means the country's production capacity is low but now meat production has gone up," he noted.
Mr Sosthenes further detailed that Tanzania produced 679,992 tonnes of meat in 2017/2018 while 690,629 tonnes were produced in 2018/2019 which is an increase of 1.6 per cent.
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He said that according to statistics by the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Tanzania ranks third in Africa in livestock population thus the government has continued to create enabling environment to attract investment in the meat industry.
Mr Sosthenes noted that various meat factories were being constructed in the country among them, Tan Choice Meat Processing factory in Coast Region, which has the capacity of slaughtering up to 100 cows per shift and 4,500 goats.
The government was also taking measures to ensure construction of more meat processing factories at Longido, Morogoro, Chato and Ruvu, he noted.