E-Ng’ombe: a mobile phone ICT to tackle the pitfall of information asymmetry in the value chain of indigenous beef cattle in Mwanza Region, Tanzania


A value chain (VC) study was conducted in Ilemela and Magu Districts of Mwan za region in Tanzan ia to evaluate the performance of different actors in the VC of indigenous beef cattle and identify opportunities for upgrading the VC. Specifically, the study mapped the VC, assessed profitability in each node and identified priority issues for short term intervention. Two major working hypotheses were tested. First is the hypothesis that the profits gained by beef cattle actors in the VC are unevenly distributed. Second is the hypothesis that efficiency in cattle and beef product production and marketing will translate into increased market margins for producers and other actors in the VC. We identify several pitfalls: importantly is perhaps the p itfall of info rmation asymmetry, especially among actors upstream the VC. We develop an electronic mobile phone Information and Co mmunicat ion Technology (ICT) system namely, “e-Ng‟o mbe” in an attempt to tackle this problem. This is in line with our fundamental argu ment that the introduction and use of appropriate ICT, especially by beef cattle producers, is likely to add value and upgrade the VC. We reco mmend that the Govern ment of Tan zania, through the Ministry of Livestock Development and Fisheries (M LDF) should own the process of out-scaling and up-scaling the use of e-Ng‟o mbe ICT system in the country. We underline the fact that the provision of market ing information is by large a public good, though public -private partnerships may go a long way in realizing the benefits of using mobile phone ICT in the indigeno us beef cattle sub-sector in Tan zania.



Beef cattle, Livestock Marketing, Livestock Information System, Mobile phone, ICT