TANZANIA – Tanzanian Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Abdallah Ulega has called upon actors in animal feed manufacturing to devise ways that can reduce the skyrocketing cost of animal feeds in the country.

Ulega was speaking to participants during a one-day workshop organized by the Dutch Embassy in collaboration with the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) in Dar es Salaam on September 30.

According to him, investment attraction, adoption of emerging technologies, innovation, and participation of the private sector are among the key factors that can reduce the cost of price of animal feeds and foster competitiveness in the country

He explained that the cost of production of animal feeds was hiking the price of fish, chickens, and other types of livestock compared to neighbouring countries such as Kenya.

All stakeholders are meeting here today to discuss and come up with suggestions on the best way to reduce the cost of price of animal feeds by increasing creativity, investments, and adopting emerging technologies so that we can address climate change, prolonged droughts, and finances and other challenges,” he said.

He stated that, currently, Tanzania has at least 223 registered feed mills. However, only 15-20 of them operate at professional and commercial levels.

He called on financial institutions, especially bankers in the country, to start issuing loans to producers of animal feeds and make their business sustainable.

“Let me take this occasion to direct the Tanzania Veterinary Laboratory Agency (TVLA) to start making follow-ups to producers of animal feeds who have factories and inspect them if they sell high-quality animal feeds,” said Ulega.

He emphasized that it was important for the TVLA to start a program of visiting producers of animal feeds to identify those who were registered with their companies as producers of animal feeds in the country, guide and help them produce feeds that met international standards.

On his part, Wiebe de Boer the Netherlands Ambassador to Tanzania lauded the workshop, noting that it has come at the right time when the cost of production of animal feeds is increasing day by day, which poses a threat to all actors.

He added that it is high time all stakeholders came up with alternative sources of protein to reduce the cost of production of animal feeds.

“Apart from reflecting this workshop will pave the way for all actors to stimulate resilience for the feed sector in the near future which will create immense opportunity,” said Ambassador de Boer.

He concluded that the one-day workshop brought together policy-makers, researchers, the government, livestock and fisheries stakeholders and the producers of animal feeds to sit together and develop a road map for achieving competitiveness in the production of animal feeds.

Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Kirenga said the animal feed industry in the country held a central position in agriculture and in the economy of the country.

“It is the intersection of both crop production and livestock rearing systems, which collectively provide livelihoods, income, and employment for over 80 percent of the population,” he said.

Presenting a paper on the findings and recommendations of a study on alternative sources of proteins, Prof Faustine Lekule said one of the alternative sources of proteins was to encourage farmers to grow soybeans because it was beneficial for animal and human consumption in this country.