Marketing strategies and upgrading opportunities in the indigenous beef cattle value chain in Mwanza region, Tanzania
Sokoine University of Agriculture
The potential of the traditional beef cattle sector in Mwanza region and Tanzania at large have only been utilized marginally. The sector still suffers from limited access and linkages to premium markets, lack of entrepreneurial dynamisms by actors, as well as, use of poor production and processing technology. Based on this ground this study was carried out under the VicRes funding to evaluate the performance of the beef cattle value chain in Ilemela and Magu districts. The study applied various participatory approaches and questionnaire surveys to map the value chain, assess profitability in each node and to identify priority issues for short term intervention. Two major working hypotheses were tested. The first hypothesis is that profits gained by beef cattle actors in the value chain are unevenly distributed. The second hypothesis is that efficiency in cattle and beef production and marketing information dissemination will translate into increased marketing margins for producers and other actors in the value chain.The findings confirm the hypothesis that profit margins are distributed very unequally. Cattle producers obtain the lowest prices and profit margins. The largest share of gross margins is earned by butcheries and beef shop owners who generated an average daily gross margin of about TZS 106 000per cattle at 200kgof carcass; followed by traders who fatten their beef cattle before selling and earn an average gross margin of TZS 255 700 per cattle at 300kgof live weight during the normal season and a gross margin of TZS 505 700 per cattle at 300 kg live weight during the peak season (December to January) around Christmas and new year. Of all the actors in the value chain, pastoralists/cattle producers earned the least, an average gross margin of about TZS 295 000 per cattle for a period of 4 to 5 years which decreases significantly thereafter as the cattle are kept for many years. The value chain analysis identified several pitfalls, importantly being information asymmetry especially among actors upstream the value chain. An electronic mobile phone Information and Communication Technology (ICT) system namely the “e-Ng‟ombe” was designed and developed and is proposed to be used as an attempt to tackle this problem.
Marketing strategies, Mwanza region, Traditional beef cattle sector, Beef cattle value chain