Tanzania: Pastoralists Push for Dairy Factories

PASTORAL communities in Misungwi District have called on the government to set up diary processing plants in the area, as they are confident of reliably supplying them with the needed raw materials.

The call follows the adaptation of improved animal husbandry, a technology that was brought in by the Tanzania Livestock Research Institute (TALIRI), to transform traditional pastoralism.

According to them, TALIRI has also been offering improved type of bulls, namely 'Ankole' and 'Mpwapwa', whose seminal fluid produce healthy calves, hence, quantity and quality livestock products, mostly milk, meat and skins.

"We are sure of reliable supply of raw materials for our factories because of the kind of animals we keep ... the changes have to a large extent improved our economies since we can now sell the new cattle breeds at 800,000/- instead of 350,000/- for old breeds," said Mr Maige Shija.

He added: "These animals fetch good prices due to the fact that normally, a-one-year old cross-breed animal weighs up to 120 kilogrammes while the old breeds weigh 70 kilogrammes only."

He added that a cross-breed cow can give birth to its first calf at two-years old, while for a traditional breed it takes three years.

He stressed that TALIRI technology (transformation) has been quickly adopted in Misungwi, calling on the government and stakeholders to set up livestock products' processing industries for herders' and national wellbeing.

Mr Shija said that he has also adapted a livestock fattening technology also from TALIRI, affirming that it is also a lucrative business following its quick profit.

According to him, a herder buys the traditional cattle and feeds them with nutritious feeds that contain carbohydrates, protein and minerals to let them become fatter, from 50 to over 100 kilograms within three months, fetching reasonable price in the markets.

"I usually buy a cow at between 300,000/- and 400,000 and sell it at not less than 800,000/- after the fattening process," he said.

The Institute's researcher in the Cattle Unit, Mr Nelson Felician commented that nearly 55 cross-breed bulls have been distributed to herders in the district since 2012 for livestock transformation purposes.

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