Tanzania: Govt to Increase Fish Production, Consumption

THE government targets to increase fish production to over half a million tonnes a year, a plan that will see fish consumption also increase from 8-10kg annually.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Dr Rashid Tamatama, said the government had embarked on a major investment programme to boost fish production and consumption of fish products in the country. Government records indicate that at least 448,000 tonnes of fish is produced annually.

The sector accounts for about 2 per cent of the national gross domestic product (GDP), but the PS says plans are underway to increase the sector’s contribution to at least 3 per cent. "We want to increase the production of about 100,000 tonnes," he said.

"The government is working with the private sector to ensure we raise production." Dr Tamatama noted that one of the plans was to issue concessional loans.

"In the fiscal year 2018/19, the government through Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) released 11bn/- and an additional 22bn/- will be released anytime to support investments in the fisheries sector."

"There are more people interested in investing in fish farming. The ministry has established a special desk to help anyone looking for answers to questions that will help improve the fisheries sector," explained the Permanent Secretary.

Records show that the number of fishers has increased from 7,000 in 2010 to over 22,000, producing to nearly 16,000 tonnes of fish annually.

Studies show that rapid population growth and income improvement in some communities and growing health consciousness have contributed to increased consumption of fish products.

The government maintains that the cost of production is lower with a price of feeds ranging between 3,000/- and 3,500/- per a kilo.

Meanwhile, the PS announced that the government was committed to reviving the Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute (Tafiri) to lead the government’s fisheries sector.

He said the plan also included procuring big fishing boats to help the agency undertake deep sea fishing."We have the money and it’s just a matter of time to get things done," he said.

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