TANZANIA – The government of Tanzania has unveiled plans of rebranding the National Ranching Company Limited (NARCO), the producers of Kongwa Beef, in a bid to strengthen its operations.

The decision targets to transform NARCO and create an efficient and vibrant commercial entity that will contribute positively to the commercial development of the country’s livestock industry.

NARCO is a parastatal organization under the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries with investments in large scale commercial ranching in the country and operations in 5 regions of mainland Tanzania.

Speaking during a media briefing in Dar es Salaam, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Prof Elisante Ole Gabriel, said that the move will also create more employment opportunities and provide dividend to the government.

“The government through the ministry of Livestock and fisheries continues to search to get more operating capital to enhance NARCO to carry out its obligations whereby it will seek soft loans and grants from financial institutions and donors,” added.

Prof Gabriel noted that NARCO owns huge land assets all over the country, estimated to reach 600,000 hectares including various farming ranches and grassed plots which he said would be used as resources to secure finance, reports Daily News.

He also mentioned that the government is also in a drive to ensure the company resume full operation as it collects outstanding debts owed by its customers amounting to US$330.27 million (Tshs 7.59bn).

Whilst NARCO undergoes all these strategies, it would also reshape and strengthen its human capital resource to ensure the company is fully supported by qualified manpower that can perform the task and deliver as per government plans.

“NARCO owns 15,000 relevant breed of cattle at its farms or ranches but it is government intention to increase it to 30,000 by this financial year,” he added.

NARCO has for more than a decade been engaging small scale cattle enterprises with a plan to empower them expand their capabilities to commercial ranching.

The move to revamp the sector comes as a boost to the country’s Livestock Master Plan 2018 which seeks to catalyse investments in the sector with a n aim of meeting the projected red meat production consumption gap of 1.7 million tonnes in the next 15 years.

With additional investment, the master plan developed by the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries states that the self-sufficiency rate will increase from 35 per cent to 105 per cent.

According to the plan, industrializing white meat production in large commercial-scale operations and investing in industrial-scale processing for product transformation and value addition would likely lead to lower domestic meat prices.

Beef is the dominant component of the red meat consumed in Tanzania, along with goat meat and sheep meat.