Economic valuation of pastoral meat production system in Arusha region, Tanzania
The livestock sector in Tanzania has had and continues to have a major role for the overall national development. Historically, it has been an important arena for the debate over the appropriate development the country should undertake. Ideas of ‘tradition’ and ‘modern’ livestock production system(s) continue to influence policy making processes with the first, mobile pastoralism, considered backward by policy makers, and the second, the ranching system, being highly regarded in policies that touch on the development of the livestock sector as a whole. This paper uses the value chain approach as an analytical tool to provide a (re)assessment of the value of the pastoral system (from producers to end consumers) which is often absent from official statistics and figures besides the bare number of tax revenues. The analysis focuses specifically on red meat which has a crucial role for food security as well as in the culture of the country. The results of the paper show that the total value of the pastoral value chain with respect to meat only is substantially higher than the value of pastoralism reported in (scant) data in official statistics. These results strengthen the policy-related objective of the paper which is to prove the contribution of pastoralism as a highly efficient system that supports many livelihoods and worthy of more government support. The conclusion that can be drawn is that ranching system may well co-exists with pastoralism but the two need not be mutually exclusive.
Keywords: pastoralism, livestock sector, value chain analysis, economic valuation, red meat production, Tanzania