The poultry sector in Tanzania

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In Tanzania, the poultry sector is in its early stage but poultry farming does play a major role in both urban and rural areas in terms of food resource and families income.

The growth of the poultry farming has progressed since many years; the current chicken population is of 69 million birds, of which 37 million are backyard and the remaining 32 million are commercial, including 24 million broilers and 8 million layers. It is clear that the poultry sector has a huge potential in this country considering also the great land availability to grow grain and soya for poultry feeding.

Poultry Farming
Indigenous chickens are mainly raised by rural dwellers and contribute to almost 100% poultry meat and 20% of eggs consumed in the rural and urban areas respectively, while layers and broilers are raised by skilled farmers. The commercial poultry industry includes breeder farms, hatcheries, poultry farms -layers and broiler farms-, traders and processors. Poultry as a source of protein has a competitive advantage over other livestock such as cattle, goat, sheep, and pig due to the fact that it can be produced in large quantities with less space and time. As country eating habits are changing and the economy is growing, available income is increasing and the demand for poultry products is likely to increase in the future.
More hatcheries have been built in the last years, which are producing more local day old chicks and a new association – the Tanzanian Poultry Breeders Association (TPBA) was established.

Poultry meat and egg consumption
The per capita consumption of poultry meat is estimated at about 15kgs per annum. A good poultry farming depends highly on the availability of quality feeds as it accounts for 60-70% of the production costs. The price of poultry feed has remained stable over the last year due to a good maize harvest in 2014/2015.
Eggs are produced both by commercial layer farms in the urban areas and indigenous layers in the rural areas. Egg production has been increasing over the past five years and the layers sub sector has recorded good and sustainable growth during the year 2014 and early 2015. Per capita consumption of eggs has been increasing over the years due to an increase in the population and increase of Tourism to Tanzania. Egg consumption has increased drastically from 75 eggs of 2014 to 106 eggs per capita in 2015.

Future perspectives
The poultry industry seems to have a bright future in Tanzania, as the Government in collaboration with stakeholders is supporting and strengthening technical support services and promoting use of appropriate technologies in poultry production. In addition they support the establishment of quality breeding farms and hatchery facilities; poultry producers and trade associations are promoted and encouraged.