The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) is helping train poultry producers in Tanzania like Elizabeth Mwakajila, who is making the move from operating as a subsistence farmer into a commercial poultry business that offers local consumers affordable, high-quality quality meat.
In September 2016, the Council sponsored Mwakajila’s training at the Kwazulu-Natal Poultry Institute (KZNPI) outside of Durban, South Africa. Upon returning from training at KZNPI and with the guidance and support of the Council’s local staff and consultants, she returned to Tanzania to undertake marketing her own chicken to local supermarkets and hotels.
“The Council gave me knowledge, which is the best gift,” Mwakajila said.
Since the start of 2017, Mwakajila has increased production from 24,000 broilers per month to 40,000 broilers per month. She sells her frozen chicken under her own brand of Tanzanite Chicken to a dozen supermarkets, hotels and restaurants around Arusha, taking orders of 1,000 chickens per week on average.
Mwakajila is one of more than 1,000 Tanzanian poultry producers the Council has trained in farm management and business practices as part of a Food for Progress (FFP) program. The Council launched the Tanzania program in spring 2014, fully funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA’s FAS), to promote the development and professionalization of the country’s commercial poultry and feed sectors.
The growing Tanzanian poultry and animal feed industries flexed their burgeoning strength in the summer of 2017 when they collectively pushed to remove a cost prohibitive value-added tax on the sale of animal feed.
The removal of the tax on animal feed as of June 2017 allows for some poultry producers and feed millers to re-enter the market and compete in this growing industry. This was a huge relief to the industry at a time when it was already struggling with a severe regional drought that drove up the price of raw materials. In addition, the removal of the tax will ultimately benefit Tanzanian consumers by lowering the cost of poultry and eggs.
A growing industry, in turn, generates increased consumption of both poultry within Tanzania and demand for the coarse grains — like U.S. corn — needed to feed them. This partnership with local industry to develop markets through trade is central to the Council’s work to improve lives for both U.S. farmers and customers, like those in Tanzania.
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