TANZANIA – TanChoice, a meat processing firm in Tanzania is set to commence operation of its new meat processing plant in April this year.

The new plant worth US$10m will have capacity to slaughter and process 1,000 herds of cattle and 4,500 goats and sheep per day using high tech equipment.

Being an Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) project is set to create over 500 jobs both directly and indirectly once it starts operating and will strategically help the livestock sector graduate and unlock the challenges of commercialising it.

In addition, it will create a new middle-class Cluster of business dealing with fattening of cattle, goats and sheep for supplying to the factory.

It will thus boost the livestock sector’s contribution to gross domestic product from the currently 7.4 percent to double digits as well as the sector’s annual growth which is significantly low at only 2.6 per cent.

The EPZA Director General Col (retd) Joseph Simbakalia said the meat processing plant will create and assure reliable markets for smallholder livestock keepers in the country.

“The factory capacity presents immense opportunities to benefit the whole value chain from smallholder livestock farmers, transporters, suppliers,” he said.

Furthermore, the strategic location of the factory close to the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) will attract many people to invest in the facility and its services.

It targets 100 per cent export markets of European Union and Arab United Emirates.

The by-products during the slaughter process namely livers, brains, hearts, sweetbreads (thymus and pancreas), fries (testicles), kidneys, oxtails, tripe (stomach of cattle), and tongue will be sold in the local market and others exported to the huge Chinese market.

Tanzania has one of the largest livestock populations in Africa with 13.5 million heads 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.