Export Processing Zones Authority’s Director of Investment Promotion, James Maziku said in Dar es Salaam this week that the plant will have capacity to slaughter and process 1,000 herds of cattle and 4,500 goats and sheep per day.
“The project which is expected to create over 500 direct jobs will strategically help the livestock sector graduate and unlock the challenges of commercialising it,” said Maziku, adding that construction work of the factory has reached 99 percent with trials of machines scheduled to start before end of this year.
He said the EPZA licensed factory will be the second largest in East Africa trailing an Ethiopian meat processor which has capacity of 3,000 herds and 6,000 sheep and goats daily at full capacity. “This plant produces 300 tonnes of meat every day,” Maziku added.
Despite accounting for 11 percent of Africa’s livestock population, the sector contributes only about 7.4 percent to the country’s gross domestic product with a mild annual growth rate of 2.6 percent.
“The meat processing factory will reduce and ultimately end smuggling of livestock to the neighbouring countries for pressing and exporting to foreign markets,” the EPZA Director added.
Tanzania has one of the largest livestock populations in Africa with 13.5 million herds of cattle, 5.5 million goats, 3.6 million sheep, 0.4 million pigs and 23.2 million chickens, according to statistics by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.
As the meat factory targets 100 percent export markets of European Union and United Arab Emirates, the country will also compete with Botswana which is Africa’s most advanced commercialized livestock market.
Maziku said the establishment of the TanChoice meat processing plant will create a new middle class Cluster of business dealing with fattening of cattle, goats and sheep for supplying to the factory.
“The investor of the meat processing plant cannot do everything and thus the local entrepreneurs should grab this opportunity to establish fattening businesses of cattle, goats and sheep needed by the factory,” he added.
The by-products of the animals which include livers, heads, sweetbreads (thymus and pancreas), fries (testicles), kidneys, oxtails, tripe (stomach of cattle) and tongue will be sold in the local market while the rest will be exported to China.