TANZANIA – The Government of Tanzania has set aside some 65,215.7 hectares of land in Kegera District, on the western side of Lake Victoria, for the development of the dairy industry under a project called Mwisa II.
According to Mr Colman John, a Livestock Development Officer at the regional secretariat, the project aims to attract both local and foreign investors to invest in the country’s dairy sector.
As the district has a good climate and abundant fertile soil suitable for large investments, the government hopes that by making it available, investors will be incentivized to build dairy and meat factories.
To further encourage growth in the dairy sector, the government urged the youths to venture into livestock keeping to create self-employment and help alleviate poverty in the country.
The Kagera regional Commissioner RC Mr Albert Chalamila assured the younger generation that the sector has a reliable market as a milk processing factory was recently established in the district.
He further called on livestock farmers to look into zero grazing as it is a modern and more productive and economically viable system because it focuses more on the quality of cattle rather than the quantity.
Currently, the demand for milk in the entire country is significantly higher than the supply with the total daily milk production being less than 150,000 litres per day.
The level of consumption of milk is also relatively low with the per capita value per year being 50 litres as compared to neighbouring countries like Kenya with 110 litres.
97% of milk produced in the country is consumed by the producer’s household and the rest is locally marketed through informal value chains and very minimal processing.
One of the main challenges facing the sector is that most dairy processing and collection centres are concentrated around the lake, northern coastal and highland regions.
Other obstacles in the industry include poor management techniques and seasonal fluctuations in the availability of forage and feed.
Kagera presents itself as a strategic location for investment in dairy as it not only has a local market for processed products but also a potential steady supply of raw materials.
The region constitutes five ranches under the National Ranching Community (NARCO) leased to 87 block owners with a total of 49,212 cows, 4,207 goats and 928 sheep.
The district shares a border with four EAC nations, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and Kenya making it possible for products to be exported easily through the adjacent Lake Victoria.