Socioeconomic Benefits of Traditional Beef Cattle Feedlots in the Lake Zone Regions of Tanzania
More than 90% of the national cattle herd is found in the traditional sector, in which over 95% of the cattle originate from the small East African Zebu (EAZ) known as the Tanzania Shorthorn Zebu (TSZ). The system is faced by many challenges such as; poor animal nutrition, animal diseases, water shortage and the low genetic potential of the indigenous cattle and their entire dependence on seasonality and availability of grazing pasture and water. These contribute to the production of low quantity and quality meat which is locally consumed at low price and make the farmers being excluded from regional and international market. The traditional beef cattle feedlots emerged initially as coping strategy of the drought season where many cattle died due to lack of pasture. However the contribution of feedlots to the socioeconomic development of the operators has been under researched. A cross-sectional survey of 119 Traditional Beef Cattle Feedlot operators was employed by using open and closed ended questionnaires and focus group discussions (FGD) Traditional beef cattle feedlots benefits out of the operation as the respondents admitted to build modern house and purchase many plots. However lack of reliable market to sell their fattened cattle is a big challenge to them. Any efforts from government and non-government organization to address the reliable markets should not be ignored.