Despite its significant contribution to the agriculture and country GDP, the dairy industry in Tanzania performs below its potential, with demand for milk exceeding its supply.
Research by the More Milk in Tanzania (MoreMilkiT) project and partners in the ‘Maziwa Zaidi’ program shows that inclusive investment in a range of interventions can improve per capita income of dairy producers, processors and other entrepreneurs, and dairy products can contribute to the food and nutrition security of some of the country’s most vulnerable populations.
Last week, a Maziwa Zaidi policy forum, organized by the International Research Institute (ILRI), the Agricultural Non State Actors Forum (ANSAF) and partners, examined inclusive investment opportunities in Tanzania’s dairy value chains and ways to exploit evidence accumulated in the past five years.
The forum, which was held in Dar es Salaam 23-24 April 2017, aimed to:
- Showcase institutional and technological innovations that can be taken to scale, now;
- Catalyse inclusive public and private co-investment in priority high social and economic return innovations;
- Formulate policy initiatives and interventions necessary to sustain large-scale dairy sector innovations; and
- Motivate deeper engagement in the Maziwa Zaidi program to strengthen its future contributions to evidence-based dairy development.
The forum attracted diverse participation across public, private and civil society representatives from the dairy sector.
Speaking on behalf of the Irish Embassy in Tanzania, Niall Morris, Deputy Head of Development Cooperation at Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ireland – Embassy of Ireland, Tanzania said the embassy was happy to fund the MoreMilkiT project whose findings were also presented at the Annual Conference of Agricultural Economics Society in Dublin, April this year.
The two-day interactive meeting included poster presentations and critique of innovations and interventions in the dairy value chain by research and academia and participants.
The forum advocated more inclusive investment in the dairy value chain with a call to policymakers and the government to create a more enabling environment to attract participation by youth and women especially in the resource-poor communities of Tanzania.
The Maziwa Zaidi vision aims to transform the Tanzanian dairy value chain by 2023. The program is funded by Irish Aid and is led by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) through the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock (previously Livestock and Fish). It is implemented in partnership with Faida MaLi, Sokoine University of Agriculture and the Tanzania Dairy Board. It is testing interventions aimed at enabling pre-commercial dairy farmers in Morogoro and Tanga to become more commercial through participation in dairy market hubs, where they can access inputs and services.
Maziwa Zaidi is mobilizing concerted support from public and private organizations in Tanzania through tested interventions to address four major impediments to dairy productivity in the country poor animal genetics, scarcity of feeds, poor animal health, and limited access to input and output markets and business services.
Blog post by Brian Kawuma, ILRI