Whenever we hear about Tanzania, our first thoughts take us to Mt Kilimanjaro, the surrounding mountains, and nearside grey beaches, for many Africans living on the south side of the equator; Tanzania is their ‘little’ Asian.
This is because Tanzania has the largest container terminal in sub-Saharan Africa where Asian products are dropped off including cars.
From the basic knowledge we have about Tanzania, our minds may think Tanzania suffers from the same challenge bedevilling other African countries i.e. a lack of economic diversification. However, that is not the case. Tanzania is one of the few countries on the African continent that has managed to diversify its economy.
Besides tourism and trade, Tanzania also has some flourishing industries including manufacturing, agriculture, and agro-processing. These aid the country’s Gross Domestic Product considerably, much in the same way as tourism does. The government, however, in a drive to increase economic productivity in agriculture has earmarked the further development of one agricultural sector that is livestock and fisheries.
In order, to promote the livestock and fisheries sector, Tanzania has crafted two strategies, which are (1) reallocate several large ranches and (2) divert investments into deep-sea fishing.
At the start of December 2017, the Tanzanian government said that it would start reallocating several large ranches. This decision according to the country’s Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries minister, Luhaga Mpina came about as a result of below average utilisation of ranches by current investors. Mpina said some of the investors in the livestock and fisheries sector were short-changing the government because they were benefiting from favourable policies but were not producing the desired results.
Mpina said the government has already revoked the contracts of three investors and is looking into the cases of other ranches that are not producing to their full potential. Those investors who have had their contracts revoked are Ereto Livestock Keepers Association, A to Z Animal Feeds Company, and Farm Company Limited.
Mpina further stated that if these three had produced according to their potential, they would have contributed significantly to the country’s GDP thereby increasing the government’s revenue share while at the same time improve the general living standards of the host communities. He further stated that the other 105 investors are living on borrowed time and if they do not increase their productivity, they may meet the same fate.
Tanzania is also looking into inviting more investors into deep-sea fishing. The government says they have been many reports of licensed fishing vessels discarding bycatch at the sea. Most of the bycatch according to a government statement is deep-sea fish species.
A bycatch is a marine species or fish that is caught unintentionally. A bycatch can include but is not limited to undersized individuals of targeted species or wrong sex.
The government of Tanzania said it will work in unison with the government of Zanzi Bar in seeking investment into deep-sea fishing. Zanzi Bar’s Minister for Agriculture, Hamad Rashid Mohammed concurred saying his government is looking at ways I which it can increase agriculture revenue and it is exploring the idea of increasing deep sea fishing investments.
Hamad went on to say that the government of Zanzi Bar is not realising much profits from deep sea fishing currently as they are few local people involved in the sector. The main challenge inhibiting local people to invest in deep-sea fishing is limited capital. Hamad said deep-sea fishing is capital intensive as it needs advanced modern equipment and advanced human training. However, he expressed optimism saying that by opening the sector to foreign investors, the country will benefit more from deep-sea fishing.