THE government says it produced 1,000 dairy heifers at its Arusha based National Artificial Insemination Centre (NAIC), between July 2019 and March this year.
This was said in the National Assembly on Wednesday, the government explaining that the quality cattle breeds were distributed to various State-owned dairy farms across the country for production of dairy calf that would subsequently be distributed to dairy farmers.
Responding to a question posed by Bunda Member of Parliament (MP), Getere Mwita (CCM), the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries said the government was implementing the grand project-Tanzania Livestock Master Plan 2017/2018-2021/2022 with the aim of producing a good number of meat and dairy calves.
The MP wanted to know government plans to ensure availability of the best heifers for dairy farmers in Bunda as well as other regions.
Under the project, a total of 1,000,000 meat and dairy calves will be produced annually through artificial insemination (AI).
This will enable the government to meet the current demand for improved cattle breeds across the country.
The ministry said that through the project, it had established artificial insemination camps in Simiyu Region (Bariadi and Meatu), Geita (Bukombe and Chato), Dodoma (Kongwa), Katavi (Mpanda and Tanganyika) and in Kagera (Missenyi and Kyerwa).
Through the camps, livestock officers have provided free insemination services to 4,900 cows in the above mentioned regions.
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“The government is implementing the project to boost meat and milk production. Plans are also afoot to involve the private sector in the production of heifers.
The dairy heifers, according to the ministry, were distributed to different dairy farms, including Sao Hill (212), Mabuki (175), Ngerengere (93), Nangaramo (8), Tanzania Livestock Research Institute-TALIRI (260), Livestock Training Agency-LITA (164) and Kitulo dairy farm which was given 150 heifers.
Between July 2019 and March this year, a total of 134 heifers were produced through artificial insemination at Kitulo dairy farm and National Ranching Company Limited (NARCO).
Tanzania is rich in livestock resources with a total of 32.2 million cattle, according to Livestock and Fisheries Minister, Luhaga Mpina.
The country is also endowed with 20 million goats, 5.5 sheep, 2 million pigs and 636,997 donkeys. According to data from Tanzania Dairy Board (TDB), the livestock sector contributes 7.4 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 30 percent of which is from the dairy industry.
According to UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Tanzania has a low level consumption of milk and dairy products which is 45 liters per capita per year, against the recommended 200 liters annually.
The annual amount of milk produced in Tanzania is 2.4 billion liters but less than 10 percent of the milk is processed.