TANZANIA – The Saudi Arabian delegation led by the country’s Food and Drug Authority inspector, Ahmed Alhajouj, has inspected areas involved in the processing of livestock products including abattoirs, laboratories and had discussions with the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) in order for Tanzania to start exporting meat products to the country.
Apart from the inspection, the mission also made recommendations for improvement so that the meat to be shipped meets the required criteria and standards.
Receiving the delegation, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Professor Elisante Ole Gabriel, said they are implementing the orders by President Samia Suluhu Hassan to seek markets abroad so as to increase productivity for pastoralists in the country.
“Foreign markets are good because they give us foreign exchange and ensure that pastoralists have a reliable market for livestock products.”
The Registrar of the Tanzania Meat Board, Dr. Daniel Mushi thanked the Government for cooperating with stakeholders to open markets abroad.
“The arrival of this delegation has challenged us, as there are things we need to do to make Tanzania’s meat acceptable. It is important to improve animal nutrition so that animals can grow faster with more quality meat.”
This followed a meeting between President Samia Suluhu and Saudia Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan two months ago in Dar es Salaam, where livestock products were top on the agenda of their talks.
Of the new investments in this sector is the Egyptian-owned US$ 10 million Tan Choice meat processing factory in the EPZ near Dar in coast region, with a capacity to slaughter 1,000 head of cattle and 4,500 goats and sheep per day, and produce 100 tonnes of beef daily for the export market of United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia.
Others are the Al-Kaffir of Oman and the Tanzania Meat Company both in Dodoma. The latter has a capacity to slaughter 400 head of cattle and 6,000 goats and sheep daily. The Mwanza-based Chobo Investment Factory opened last year, has a capacity of slaughtering 600 cattle and 920 goats per day.
Prof Elisante ole Gabriel said the country is targeting to grow the gross domestic product input from the livestock business from the current 7.4 percent to 15 percent GDP by 2025.
According to the Tanzania Meat Board, the country produces 581,804 tonnes of meat and meat products annually, with 96 percent consumed locally.
The new livestock data published by Tanzania’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that Tanzania is only second to Ethiopia in terms of cattle population in sub-Saharan Africa with about 33.9 million cattle.