Livestock, fisheries sectors get 85 percent budget boost

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Livestock and Fisheries minister Abdallah Ulega presents the 2024/25 ministerial budget in Parliament in Dodoma on May 14, 2024. PHOTO | EDWIN MJWAHUZI

What you need to know:

  • The budget shows that Sh166.8 billion has been increased from Sh196.3 billion approved for the 2023/24 financial year, which is equivalent to 85 percent.

Dar es Salaam. The government is raising Tanzania’s development budget for the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries by a cool 85 percent in its effort to revolutionise the sectors.

Requesting Parliament to endorse Sh460.3 billion for the 2024/25 fiscal year, the Livestock and Fisheries Minister, Mr Abdallah Ulega, said that of the total requested budget, Sh363.1 billion has been allocated for development expenditures.

The budget shows that Sh166.8 billion has been increased from Sh196.3 billion approved for the 2023/24 financial year, which is equivalent to 85 percent.

Tabling the budget estimates, Mr Ulega unveiled the ministry’s priority areas for the 2024/25 budget as increasing production, markets, and value of livestock and fisheries products as well as strengthening protection and management of livestock and fisheries resources.

Others are encouraging investment and enhancing research, training, and extension services in the livestock and fisheries sectors.

He said his docket is determined to end illegal fishing through the effective execution of short-term and long-term strategies, one of which is the use of modern technology, which apart from controlling, will also deter fishing crimes on water bodies.

“These technologies include the use of special unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) capable of travelling 100 kilometres for two hours and capturing high-resolution videos of illegal fishing activities and fish smuggling,” he told a live televised Parliament.

The minister said the use of technology will increase efficiency and reduce utilisation of financial and time resources, saying an electronic monitoring system will be installed in all fishing vessels including the just handed-over modern boats.

“The system will track all fishing activities and record fishermen's activities to prevent illegal fishing. The system will also ensure the safety of fishermen and citizens who encounter difficulties in our waters,” said Mr Ulega.

Mr Ulega said the Ministry will establish boundaries and protect fish habitats by installing special buoys, therefore preventing the destruction of fish habitats, which are the basis for maintaining fish populations.

He said investment in appropriate technologies will continue to ensure the sustainability of the fisheries’ precious resources for the benefit of present and future generations.

In the 2024/25 fiscal year, he said the fisheries sector will implement several projects and activities, including completing the construction of the Kilwa Fish Market Port and commencing the preliminary preparations for the construction of the Bagamoyo Fish Market Port.

“The ministry will complete the establishment of a body to oversee and develop fisheries resources and aquaculture, continuing the procurement procedures for four deep-sea fishing vessels through the Tanzania Fisheries Corporation (Tafico), and the construction of a fish processing plant and a fish feed production plant,” he said.

“The ministry will also facilitate the purchase of 450 boats and fishing gear through the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) window and the Tanzania Scaling Up Sustainable Marine (Tasfam) project as well as empowering 300 groups of seaweed farmers, crab farming, and marine snail farming,” added Mr Ulega.

Other projects include purchasing one fishing training vessel through the Tasfam project, purchasing 60 buoys and seven unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), and installing a tracking system for fishing vessels.

Furthermore, he said other projects to be implemented are the facilitation of the purchase of 497 fish cages through ECF and the establishment of 20 demonstration farms for aquaculture development in 20 councils.

Regarding priority areas in the livestock sector, Mr Ulega said the government has allocated 90 million doses, provision 13 vaccines for priority diseases, carry out livestock identification, and complete the establishment of a special body to oversee the development of livestock products and infrastructure.

“The ministry will commence the implementation of the Dairy Industry Reform and Climate Change Project (T-CSDTP) for five years, benefiting 58,000 beneficiaries. The project involves the purchase of 17,200 dairy cows, the construction of 5,000 cattle sheds, and the establishment of a rainwater harvesting system in 22,400 households,” he said.

Other priorities, according to him, are the purchase and installation of 2,800 biogas plants; the construction of 950 milk collection centres; the purchase of 929,000 doses of livestock vaccines; and the construction of 140 kilometres of roads.

“Establishing a livestock guest house at Mkata Ranch as well as purchasing and distributing 60 superior breed bulls of Brahman cattle that will increase productivity and efficiency in the livestock value chain are the other priorities,” he said.

The Industries, Trade, Agriculture, and Livestock parliamentary committee chairman, Mr Deodatus Mwanyika, said the committee advises the government to encourage increased participation of stakeholders and members of the private sector in curbing illegal fishing.

He said the provision of education on modern fish preservation methods to combat post-harvest losses, which are estimated to reach 30 percent to 40 percent in rural areas should be overemphasised.

“The government should finalise the process of purchasing four fishing vessels to assist in deep-sea fishing and increase the country's revenue and strengthen regular patrols in the deep-sea fishing area to control illegal fishing,” he said.

Mr Mwanyika said a conducive environment should be created to encourage the private sector to participate in the construction of fish processing industries to enhance the sector's contribution to the national income.