Experts have called for a sharp transformation in beef cattle production for the livestock sector in a bid to contribute in an envisaged economic pace.
An expert at Mabuki Livestock Research Centre, Dr Angelo Mwilawa, said at the weekend that farmers and pastoralists should now use the centre to improve breeding skills. He was speaking at a special training session attended by about 42 participants including pastoralists on venturing into modern and recommended approaches in attaining equitable grazing and meat processing.
According to him, the current practices by local players will hardly earn pastoralists substantial income until they slowly abandon local cattle farming to recommended zero grazing. "The culture of travelling too far looking for grazing areas cannot sustain this sector anymore.
We recommend for farmers to come to our centre and get more capacity building skills," he said. But since it was somehow difficult in normal circumstances for farmers to visit the center, Dr Mwilawa challenged the Local Government Authorities (LGAs) to set aside funds for their livestock officers to be equipped by the experts and pass on knowledge to the local stakeholders.
He said that Mabuki Centre has already received directives from the government on the preparation of the training programmes in efforts to make sure the livestock sector adds value in the production chain.
Dr Mwilawa said his centre was currently implementing the project dubbed Developing and Promoting a Stratified Model to Transform Traditional Beef Cattle Production into a Commercial Oriented Beef Cattle Industry in Tanzania.
The project, which is supported by the Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH), provides skills on cattle fattening resulting in processing of quality meat recommended for both local and foreign markets. The seminar participants learned on how special food for the beef cattle should be prepared along with recommended environment and conditions they should be kept in.
Earlier, speaking on behalf of the Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS), a Livestock Officer, Ms Candida Kyamani, said farmers had to change to modern practices if they wanted to really overcome poverty. She said her office will be readily open for supportive and capacity building programs to the farmers.
She advised them to cultivate a culture of attending different festivals like Nane Nane for knowledge and experience sharing. "We are soon launching the Nane Nane fair here in Mwanza where a lot of agricultural activities are being showcased. Just attend them and you will not regret at all," she said.
The event was attended by around 42 participants from Mwanza, Kagera, Dodoma and Coast regions.
Source: Tanzania Daily News.