TANZANIA – The Tanzanian Association of Pig Farmers (Tapifa), has released data that show Tanzania heavily depends on pork imports to meet the demand of consumers.

Tapifa is an apex private sector member-based organization that advocates for the growth and competitiveness of the pig farming industry in Tanzania.

The organization released the data during a meeting between pig farmers and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) held in the Mbeya region in Tanzania’s southern highlands stating that Tanzania previously produced only 27,000 tons annually.

The data also notes that the country imports 52,000 tonnes of pork per year, which the association has attributed the move to a major challenge local producers are facing, limiting their production.

According to Tapifa secretary, Collins Ritenga the meeting’s agenda was to discuss strategies to control the African Swine Fever (ASF), a major challenge in the southern highland region.

“More than 500 pigs were killed by the African swine fever in Kahama district in the Shinyanga region in northern Tanzania between December 2020 and January 2021,” Ritenga said.

According to research by the Tanzania Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, the Tanzania pork industry has the capacity to become a dynamic market-orientated sector.

It added that the nation has the capacity to supply consumers with high-quality and safe pork and contribute to increased nutritional security, livelihoods, and economic growth.

However, the ministry reports that Pig mortality in Tanzania is as high as 20% for young pigs before weaning, primarily due to the prevalence of several diseases and the lack of access to quality animal health services.

“African swine fever (ASF) is the number one killer of pigs. Once there is an outbreak, ASF is very difficult to eradicate; although it is not zoonotic, ASF hampers pig meat production and product trade,” the report stated.

According to the study, interventions in the areas of animal health, genetics, marketing, and processing and policies increased the contribution of the pork sector in Tanzania to the gross national product by 83% to nearly US$36 million over the 2017–2022 period.

Pig production in Tanzania is set to reach 110,000 heads by 2026, up 0.6% year-on-year as consumption is forecasted to dip to 14,000 metric tons in the same period, down 1.1% year-on-year since 2017, the study noted.

The research ranks Tanzania 96th globally in pork production, with East Timor being the highest at 15,000 metric tons. The United States, Russia, and Vietnam followed in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place, respectively in 2021.

The country produced the highest amount of pork in 2016, with over 91 thousand metric tons but the registered the least output volume with less than 19 thousand metric tons in the following year.

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