Improving smallholder livelihoods: Dairy production in Tanzania

Edward Ulicky, Jackson Magoma, Helen Usiri, Amanda Edward

Abstract


Tanzania is primarily an agro-based economy, characterized by subsistence agricultural production that employs more than 80% of the population and contributes up to 45% of the GDP (2005). This country is endowed with a cattle population of 21.3 M, composed mainly of indigenous Zebu breeds and about 680 000 improved dairy animals. About 70% of the milk produced comes from the traditional sector (indigenous cattle) kept in rural areas, while the remaining 30% comes from improved cattle, mainly kept by smallholder producers. In Northern Tanzania and particularly in Hai district of Kilimanjaro Region, some dairy farmers organize themselves into small producer groups for the purpose of milk collecting, marketing and general promotion of the dairy sector in their community. Nronga Women Dairy Cooperative Society (NWDCS) Limited is one of such organizations dedicated to improve the well-being of the Nronga village community through promoting small-scale dairy farming and its flow-on benefits. Milk flows out of the village, and services for investment and dairy production flow into the village, ensuring a sustainable financial circulation necessary for poverty reduction, rural development and better life for the rural community. In 2001 NWDCS introduced a school milk feeding program that has attracted Australian donors since 2005. Guided by Global Development Group, a multi-faceted project, integrating micro-enterprises, business, education and child health/nutrition, was proposed and initiated by building a dairy plant in Hai District headquarters, the Boma plant. In March 2013, the Australian High Commission to East Africa approved Direct Aid Program funding of AUD 30 000 towards the NWDCS - Biogas Pilot Project in Tanzania, which included the renovation of zero-grazing cow shade units, the construction of 6-m3 biodigester plants on each farm, and encouragement of the use of bioslurry for pasture production and home gardens.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17138/tgft(1)244-248

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