Transforming smallholder livestock farms into profitable enterprises (Acronym: Livestock Enterprises).


Start date: 31 December, 2008 End date: 30 June, 2013 Project type: Larger strategic projects - ENRECA (prior to 2008) Project code: 66-08-LIFE Countries: Tanzania Thematic areas: Agricultural production, Economic development and value chains, Lead institution: University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark Partner institutions: Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), Tanzania Tumaini University Dar es Salaam College (TUDARCo), Tanzania Project website: go to website (the site might be inactive) Policy Brief: Policy Brief 1 - Antibiotic Resistance Project coordinator: John Elmerdahl Olsen Total grant: 4,077,480 DKK

Project summary

Smallholder livestock is a potential driver of economic growth in Tanzania. This is recognized in the National Strategy for Livestock Development, the National Strategy for Growth and Poverty Reduction and the Business Sector Support Program. Based on inputs from a preparatory workshop with important stakeholders in the livestock and food production sectors, this project builds research capacity needed to transform smallholder livestock farms into commercial enterprises. Scientists from Sokoine University of Agriculture (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Faculty of Agriculture), Open University of Tanzania (OUT) (Faculty of Science and Technology and Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences) and University of Copenhagen (Faculty of Life Sciences) participate in the project. Capacity building is delivered in the form of training of manpower, improvement of research facilities and general research training. In the first project phase (four years), three PhD students and 2 Master of Science students are trained in anthropology, agro economics and microbial food safety. The project installs an E-learning platform at OUT and uses this to disseminate results, and assists in building of general research skills through a short term research course. Outputs will be trained individuals, original and review articles in peer review journals, articles in national journals, a number of booklets in national language, an e-learning platform, general research capacity increase and improved research facilities at SUA and OUT. The project is structured around three work packages. WP1 deals with social and economical studies, WP2 with public health issues, while WP3 is a vertical coordination and dissemination work package.


Project Completion Report:

Livestock is a resource for development in Tanzania, however, depending on transition from subsistence farming into more commercially orientated farms. This project has build research capacity in Tanzania in areas of relevance for this transition.

Transfer of knowledge was identified as an obstacle for development. The project developed an online dissemination platform to be accessed by computer, CDs or partly by mobile phone. The platform was developed with a complete suit of knowledge in poultry production and health, and modules may be adjusted and used individually as supporting material for farmers.

Social studies were performed to understand drivers of development on a personal plan. Farmers wished to secure family economy, nutrition and livelihood, and money earned would generally be used to sustain the production, and not as a step stone to leave the farming business.

The project performed detailed mapping of the poultry and pork value chain, and showed that both chains can be optimized to the benefit of all stakeholders. Smallholder farmers produce the majority of the primary product, and special attention should be given to involve this resource more actively in the chain.

Livestock producers need to ensure that they release healthy products. Two internationally important problems in food production were researched. A recommendation to include presence of the bacterium Campylobacter in future surveillance as well as to better implement by-laws regarding use of antimicrobials in both human and veterinary medicine was given.

For further information, please contact professor Amandus P. Muhairwa, Sokoine University of Agriculture ( or professor John Elmerdahl Olsen, Copenhagen University (

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