Dealers in livestock by-products have called upon the government to carry out a survey to establish the current status of the industry. Livestock by-products are those products of value produced after animal slaughter.
Namely blood, bones, horns, hoofs, hair, wool, glands, organs, intestines, stomachs, gut contents and manure.
Speaking in Dar es Salaam recently Elias Kawau, who is one of the dealers, said the industry is not getting the priority it deserves.
The local status of other livestock by-products in terms of production, collection, processing, marketing and utilisation is not recognized although some activities like meal preparation using blood are conducted in many towns and cities.
“Before embarking on any development programme therefore I urge the government in collaboration with other stakeholders to carry out a survey and establish the current position of the industry,” he said.
In least developed countries like Tanzania, he said, the volume and use of livestock by-products is smaller compared to that in developed countries due to the relatively less number of livestock slaughtered daily, he said.
This is because in the former most of the by-products are used as food.
He proposed that meat processing plants should be established in areas where large numbers of livestock are slaughtered.
Development of the industry will help in job creation, income generation, foreign exchange saving and as a means of disposing off waste from slaughter premises, he said.
Animal by-products yields vary from 55 to 60 percent depending on the species and food value placed on them, he said adding that smaller animals have a smaller percent of by-products than large animals.
The uses of aminal byproducts range from human food, pharmaceuticals, animal feeds, to energy source and ornamentals.
However the government has been taking steps to improve the sector and make it more vibrant. Already it has included them in the National Livestock Policy of 2006.
According to the Ministry of Livestock Development and Fisheries, the overall goal of the National Livestock Policy of 2006 is to promote production and utilisation of livestock by-products for the provision of industrial inputs and income generation.
The potential for production of livestock by-products in Tanzania is enormous, considering the existing large population of livestock and the annual take rate which is estimated at between 10 and 15 per cent for cattle and goats respectively.
Meat development experts say the demand for high quality meat has been on the increase due to high income by individuals, supermarkets, tourist hotels and recently the availability of export market.
This has stimulated the government to persuade private investors to construct abattoirs countrywide so as to facilitate production of high quality meat to meet the consumers’ demand.
These recent developments indicate that more livestock by products will be available in the future, analysts say.