Dar es Salaam. Livestock will soon be traded on the Tanzania Mercantile Exchange (TMX) platform if ongoing initiatives are anything to go by.
Through the TMX platform, livestock keepers will meet with the buyers of their products directly - and, thus, be able to reach a competitive price.
The plan by TMX follows a recent decision by the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development to introduce a system whereby cattle will be identified by electronic tags on their ears.
This will help to get information about the animals, a vital step in the government’s value-addition plans that are geared at ensuring that the business penetrates international markets.
Available data shows that the livestock sector contributes 7.4 percent to Tanzania’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The ministry’s goal is to raise the sector’s GDP contribution to 15 percent by 2025.
A senior trading operations officer at TMX, Mr Nicholas Kaserwa, told The Citizen recently that the first trial auction will be held in Longido District, Arusha Region in October.
He said preparations for the trial auction have already been completed.
He said that, under normal circumstances, a livestock keeper will move from one auction to another in looking for buyers, a step that he said, was going to increase costs to the sellers.
“Each animal has its own grade, so a prospective buyer would buy according to the grade and price,” he said.
However, through the trading platform, farmers will sell their livestock from the comfort of their homes, and buyers will get all the information from the seller on diseases, types and weight of the beasts, among other details.
The founder of CANBE Farming Limited, Mr Charles Nyangi, said the online TMX system is bound to be good - if only because it would give farmers a wide scope to sell their livestock in a competitive system.
However, he further said, there is a need for more awareness to be made about how the market works.
This, he said, would help farmers to start keeping records of their livestock.
“Most farmers do not keep records such as the age of the cattle, vaccinations and other information,” he said.