The government has started taking measures to stop the pathetic problem of meat standards and safety which threaten human health and development of the industry.
A press statement issued by the Ministry of Livestock Development and Fisheries in Dar es Salaam yesterday, said already the government in collaboration with partners has launched a red meat value chain improvement initiatives in Iringa, Mbeya and Morogoro regions.
The partners are joint African Agribusiness and Agro Industries Development (3ADI) of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido), the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the Food and Agriculture Organization.
According to the statement, the Tanzania Meat Board with UNIDO co-sponsorship organised and convened a one day workshop in Iringa recently to launch the pilot initiative on the meat value chain improvement with emphasis on the improvement of slaughtering facilities and butcheries in the regions.
Participants who attended the workshops were drawn from government, Tanzania Food and Drug Authority (TFDA), Tanzania Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA), feedlotters, feedstuff producers, livestock and meat traders.
The statement said great potential for improvement that exist in the meat value chain is seen in value edition of the livestock through feedlotting by livestock producers, value addition of meat through improved conditions of slaughter facilities and the further meat processing activities.
It is envisaged that the value chain and food safety on meat and meat products are key issues for improved livelihoods of meat stakeholders and consumers.
The launched pilot initiative will support the development of the meat value chain in the areas for the coming two years. The initiative will provide training to slaughter facility employees, meat processors and butchers on proper meat handling and business management, the statement said.
It will also foster the construction and commissioning of improved slaughter facilities and devising on business operating models to provide long term sustainability through either public private partnership or employing operating company for efficient cost effective management.
The initiative will also promote feedlotting activities by livestock farmers and slaughter facility operators.
Since 2000 the government enacted a number of acts and regulations to guide meat industry, the most notable one is the meat industry act No 10 of 2006.
It is through this Act the annual meat Council and Tanzania Meat Board were established, the Council is a supreme organ while Board is the secretariat to the Annual Meat Council with the mandate to oversee the development of meat industry through promotion, coordination and ensuring compliance to rules and standards.
Meat industry in Tanzania is an important sub sector that provides income and employment to more than 4.5million people. It has the potential to contribute to poverty alleviation and improvements of livelihoods of many livestock keeping families, traders, processors and rural Tanzanians in general.