Dairy production and related environmental issues in Tanzania
Dairy production and related environmental issues in
Robert Otsyina and D.G. Mlay
CLEANED Project East Africa Stakeholder Consultation on Dairy and Environment
Nairobi, Kenya, 18 September 2013
Recent trends in livestock/dairy development
Demand and supply situation
Dairy production systems
Intensive and extensive
Impacts on the environment
With about 22.8 million cattle, Tanzania is the third
country in Africa (after Ethiopia and Sudan) in terms of
size of livestock population.
The dairy industry is one of the most important
agricultural subsectors in Tanzania.
Several farm families depend on livestock and dairy
production for their livelihoods.
Consumption for milk is expected to increase in Tanzania
from the current per capita consumption of 45 liters per
year to about 100 liters/capita/yr by 2020.
The Government is putting a lot of emphasis and efforts
on dairy development in the country.
MILK PRODUCTION SITUATION
Total milk production 2012/13 reported to 1.92
Total number of cattle 22.8 million (2012/13)
Number of improved Dairy cattle was about
720,000 (2011/12) kept by about 130,000 HH
and produce 30% of total milk
70% of total milk produced comes from local
cattle kept by an estimated 1.6 million HH
Per capita milk consumption 45.0
Recommended level is 200 lts per head per
Current analysis show that demand is far
beyond the supply.
Initiatives to improve human nutrition will
further increase demand and subsequent
increases in livestock population.
Dairy Production systems
- Low input-low output
Displacement of cattle
from one place to the
other in search for
Cut and carry system
Dairy Production Systems
farms account for
about 25 -30,000
dairy cattle and
about 2-5% of
Seasonal fluctuations in production esp. from
Quantity and quality of feeds especially during the dry
Overgrazing of communal rangelands
Frequent conflicts between livestock keepers and
Diseases such as tick borne diseases that kill up to
40% of calves if regular spraying /dipping is not done
Long calving intervals due to poor breeding practices
Low milk production density makes milk collection
uneconomical and non competitive.
Poor milk processing and handling infrastructure.
Improving productivity of indigenous cattle ( Breeding
Expansion of the improved dairy herd and promoting milk
Capacity building among communities to manage and
conserve and communal grazing land and the environment
(Participatory rangeland and Forest Management systems
Improvement of grazing lands and pastures using
multipurpose tress, legumes and grasses in agroforestry
Disease control mechanisms.
Policy reforms to secure land ownership
Value chain development
Current trends and environmental
Growth in incomes, population and urbanization are
driving increases in demand for meat and dairy
Rapid expansion of livestock numbers in extensive and
Concentration of livestock populations in urban areas
Over-grazing of agricultural and rangelands.
Inadequate legal frame work in land ownership.
Most of land used for grazing is owned
communally, therefore no incentive to manage grazing
Displacement of cattle into agricultural and forest
Impacts on natural resources and
Increasing overgrazing and environmental degradation of
rangelands, forest ecosystems, pastures and farm lands
(Depletion of carbon stocks).
Increasing soil erosion and nutrient losses.
Degradation of water systems and sources ( water
As livestock production systems intensify towards
industrial and feedlot systems, water pollution and manure
disposal issues become more serious.
Pollution from livestock/dairy farming affects the
atmosphere, surface water and groundwater systems.
Increasing carbon footprints in dairy production and
Increasing effects of climate change on local populations
and natural resources.
Livestock production and dairy in particular provide
good opportunities for income generation and
livelihood improvements in Tanzania.
Demand for dairy products increase with population
increases. This will drive increases in livestock
Livestock (dairy) is seen as a key driver of
greenhouse gas emissions.
Interventions to address livestock effects on the
natural resources and the environment should be
given due priority.