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Tanzania has established a livestock market in Kirumi in the Mara Region near the Kenyan border, targeting to control sales of smuggled cattle, mostly to Kenya and Uganda. The Ministry for Livestock and Fisheries said in a report this week that Tanzania has lost large sums of money to livestock smugglers.

Maasai in Ngorongoro Crater with their herds of cattle. Tanzania has established a livestock market in Kirumi in the Mara Region near the Kenyan border.

Minister for Livestock, Luhaga Mpina, launched the market on October 17 and warned over unchecked sales of livestock to neighbouring states.

He also banned all unlicensed markets for livestock in Tanzania.

He said that Tanzania was losing its livestock to neighbouring states through porous borders. The international market is also aimed at hosting buyers from other regional states to purchase livestock in Tanzania.

Mr Mpina said the new livestock market was intended to stop herders from selling heads of cattle, goats and sheep across the Tanzanian borders.

Second largest

Tanzania has been confiscating livestock from neighbouring countries that have been found grazing in Tanzania.

The newly launched market will be operational daily, targeting livestock keepers and sellers from the Lake Victoria Zone by offering about five million head of cattle and an estimated two million goats for sale.

Tanzania has an estimated 25 million heads of cattle, 16 million goats and seven million sheep owned by small-scale herders.

The government is estimated to lose Tsh263.95 billion ($116 million) per year due to smuggling of livestock, raw leather and unprocessed milk.

Mr Mpina earlier said that a team of experts had revealed that there was rampant smuggling of cattle, meat and milk across Tanzanian borders.

He said that over 1.6 million cows and 201.75 million kilogrammes of beef are being smuggled out of the country every year. The smuggling of raw leather alone is costing the government to Tsh87.46 billion ($43 million) in revenue per year.

The government is also looking to raise annual meat production from 679,992 tonnes to 882,100 tonnes. The strategy would also seek to raise sheep and goat numbers.

The strategy will also improve the availability of its veterinary services, locally produced vaccines as well as ensure modern livestock keeping technologies reach more farmers.

Minister for Industries, Trade and Investment Charles Mwijage had earlier announced that Tanzania was seeking Egyptian technology in leather and livestock product manufacturing for production of quality leather and construction of a meat processing factory in Tanzania.

He said Tanzania has been importing shoes and leather products from other countries making a little use of its livestock products.

After Ethiopia, Tanzania is the second largest number of livestock in Africa producing about four million hides and 6.1 million skins per year.

The Citizen

UM– USEKE.RW

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