USGC programs help Tanzanian poultry, egg producers expand

Credit: buhanovskiy/iStock/Thinkstock. broiler chickens
Growth in region establishing future customers for U.S. coarse grains and co-products.

In 2015, Jaffar Mohamed Hashim's Mitobo Farm, a broiler processing company in Tanzania, had a stock density of 1,000 broilers per month. Today, following his participation in numerous U.S. Grains Council (USGC) programs, those numbers exceed 30,000, and Mitobo Farm is producing its own feed for this stock, with a feed conversion ratio of 2:1.

After investing in its own facility, the company can also process its broilers. That processed chicken, branded as Kuku Halisi, is sold predominately in supermarkets and restaurants in Dar es Salaam, one of the top poultry- and egg-consuming areas of Tanzania.

“Realizing the untapped potential in the Tanzanian market, the council has been supporting poultry and feed producers like Hashim as they develop and expand their operations,” Katy Wyatt, USGC manager of global strategies, said. “By equipping producers with the knowledge necessary to improve their operations, our programs are helping ensure Tanzanian consumers have access to affordable, good-quality poultry meat and eggs and establishing future customers for U.S. coarse grains and co-products.”

According to USGC, Tanzania is one of the fastest-growing countries in East Africa, with an estimated population of nearly 60 million, which is expected to nearly double by 2050. In addition to rising numbers, more middle-income Tanzanians are shifting consumption patterns from vegetable-based proteins to more animal-based diets richer in protein. Poultry and eggs are the protein of choice for many African consumers because they are generally more affordable and more widely available.

This increased demand for animal protein is putting pressure on local industries, which the council's programs aim to help expand. Hashim, for example, attended several of the USGC programs, including a broiler management program at Kwazulu-Natal Poultry Institute (KZNPI) outside of Durban, South Africa, under the council’s Food for Progress project in Tanzania. Hashim has continued working with USGC's Tanzanian consultants to further enhance his business, with programs funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Market Access Program.

USGC relayed that Grace Urasa has used knowledge gained through its poultry management and farming best practices program in Tanzania in her broiler and layer operations. Three years ago, she had 1,000 birds in her broiler and layer stocks. Today, she is managing a 12,000-bird operation (6,000 broilers and 6,000 layers) and selling broilers and eggs to local markets. Urasa, who is always looking for opportunities to expand and grow her operations, has plans to build an on-farm poultry processing facility to position herself to sell directly to customers.

 She is also an active member of the Tanzania Broiler Farmers Assn. and the Tanzania Layer Farmers Assn. Through these organizations, Urasa shares what she has learned through the USGC programs with her industry peers, further supporting her industry.

“The focus on technical assistance and long-term capacity building is solidifying relationships in the Tanzanian food chain,” Wyatt said. “This work truly embodies the council’s mission of developing markets, enabling trade and improving lives.”

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