This was stated in Dar es Salaam yesterday by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (Livestock) Prof Elisante Ole Gabriel when presenting certificates to the participants of the input supplier’s competition organized by AgResults institute in Coast, Tanga, Dar es Salaam and Morogoro regions.
He said Tanzania is currently the second largest producer of livestock in Africa, hence the need to make the best use of the dairy industry by conducting research that would help to increase the value of the proceed dairy products.
Prof Ole Gabriel said that statistics show that the dairy industry in the country is growing by five percent every year whereas its contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) is 7.4 percent. Tanzania produces 3.4 million liters of milk of which 2.1 liters are from hybrid cattle and 0.9 percent from indigenous cows.
He also said the studies will come up with better suggestions on cattle grazing as well as cattle feeding to ensure they produce enough milk for family consumption and for processing industries.
“We will put more efforts into partnering with the private sector to ensure the sector’s competitiveness” he added.
AgResults project coordinator, Neema Mrema said that most dairy farmers in the country face challenges with poor milk production due to difficulties in accessing quality inputs and extension services.
Mrema said the AgResults project works to find solution to the above challenges through competition and issuance of rewards to participants in four years.
Mrema said the six winners of the competition will receive $ 27,000 to help them increase them improve their businesses. He said during the entire period of the challenge, more than 2,700 pastoralists have been assisted with various services including artificial insemination, parasite control, vaccination and nutrition for livestock.
He added that more than more than 360 cows have been provided with various nutritional services to boost their milk production. He said when project ends; the organization would have reached more than 30,000 farmers.
According to Mrema, plans are also to meet livestock keepers in southern highland regions, northern farmers and those in the central regions.
“We focus on both, dairy cows and those kept for meat production. We use input suppliers as a catalyst for change in the normal livestock keeping culture. We want farmers to transform to modern animal keeping techniques,” he said.
A representative from USAID, Andy Karas said that the challenge is a good partnership because it involved youth who are the next generation and eager towards change in the society and the country at large.
“Youth must be given priority because they are not only tomorrow’s leaders but rather today leaders. This challenge will make change in milk production and reaching the goal the country is heading toward” said Karas.
Winners of the competition are VetFarm, Mkwakwani (Tanga), AgriCare Enterprise, Kile Agrovet and Damiani AgroVet.