An International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)-led study to assess fodder markets and enhance availability of feeds for smallholder dairy systems in Tanzania has been launched.
Livestock sector partners, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania Dairy Board, the Tanzania Livestock Research Institute, Tanzania Veterinary Laboratory Agency, the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock Development and ILRI launched the initiative at a meeting in Dar es Salaam on 11 November 2015.
The study will address low feed supply for the dairy sector in the country by looking at market arrangement and consumption of fodder by dairy producers and it will analyse challenges such as value chain actors’ knowledge of the fodder market, economic viability and quality of different types of fodder. The study will also assess how far businesses engaged in fodder markets can serve areas beyond urban and peri-urban areas.
‘We look forward to new evidence from this study on how to extend fodder markets into dry areas to help alleviate feed shortages, especially in the dry season,’ said Amos Omore, ILRI’s country representative in Tanzania. Ben Lukuyu, an animal nutrition researcher at ILRI is leading the study, which will seek to design interventions for improving the performance of emerging fodder markets to alleviate fodder scarcity.
Anecdotal evidence shows that most fodder trading in Tanzania happens in towns and in peri urban areas but a scientific review of fodder markets in the country was last done in 1978. Fodder markets are particularly important for the landless and urban and peri urban dairy farmers who are unable to grow their own fodder, and who need access to quality fodder at reasonable prices to be able to produce milk economically and at competitive cost.
The study will be carried out in the milk producing areas of Dar es Salaam and its environs, Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Tanga and Morogoro where the ILRI-led MoreMilkiT project is implemented. The study will also focus on emerging dairy areas in the Lake Victoria region of Mwanza.
‘Finding from this study will support a strategy to tackle feed shortages and bottlenecks in the country, which is one of the aims of the Dairy Development Forum,’ said Lukuyu.
Partners used the meeting to agree study sites and develop tools and work plans and a project budget towards a full launch of the study in 2016.