Dar es Salaam – The East Africa College of Business (EACB) in Dar es Salaam, together with PM Netherland, recently hosted a dedicated training event for Tanzanian entrepreneurs active in the livestock and animal feed domain.
Under the expert guidance of Dr Deogatus Mbona, attendees grasped the integral relationship between feed quality and animal well-being. “The standard of livestock feed has a profound influence on animal growth rates, whether they’re poultry for consumption or cattle. This invariably mirrors in the health and yield of the animals,” Mbona elaborated.
Costa Mrema, the chairperson of the Tanzania Broiler Farmers Association, shed light on the day’s key learnings.
In a recent seminar addressing the critical elements of quality feed for livestock, Costa Mrema, a renowned livestock farmer and the chairman of the Tanzania Broiler Farmers Association, shed light on his experiences and newfound knowledge.
“Safe water and quality feed are paramount in poultry farming. While clean, pathogen-free water is vital, the feed’s quality cannot be overstated,” said Mrema.
Given that feed makes up nearly 70% of the costs in farming, compromising on its quality can have significant economic repercussions for farmers. Mrema emphasized the need for safe raw materials cultivated without toxins. Proper storage of these materials is equally crucial, preventing contamination from wild animals or damp conditions.
However, Mrema warned farmers of the commercial side of additives. “Additives are a business. Before purchasing feed or raw materials loaded with expensive additives, farmers should inquire about the pros and cons. If the seller can’t articulate the benefits and potential drawbacks, those additives might not be worth the investment.”
Reflecting on his past practices, Mrema recognized his challenges. “Before today’s seminar, I didn’t prioritize quality. I was focused on obtaining feed, irrespective of its quality. Today’s education has been an eye-opener. As farmers, we must be more discerning and prioritize quality at every step,” he concluded.
A significant revelation for many was the importance of quality checks. Mary Godfrey from Goba, among others, admitted, “Before this workshop, I was not in the practice of taking feed samples. Post this, I’ve understood its significance in guaranteeing consistent feed quality.”
Sourcing uncontaminated water, especially in parts of Dar es Salaam notorious for saline water, was another topic of discussion. The attendees were equipped with methodologies to guarantee their livestock access to safe water.
The workshop also delved into the business dynamics of feed production, covering aspects like cost-efficient sourcing of raw materials, best storage practices, and the inclusion of nourishing additives.
This collaboration between the East Africa College of Business and PM Netherland underscores a pivotal stride towards refining the livestock feed industry’s benchmarks in Tanzania, aiming at a holistic upliftment of the livestock trade’s efficiency.