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Tanzania’s meat exports increase by 125% during FIFA World Cup

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Picture: Hannah Mckay/REUTERS – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. France’s Olivier Giroud and Kylian Mbappe in action with Argentina’s Angel Di Maria during the final – Argentina v France – at Lusail Stadium, Lusail, Qatar on December 18, 2022.

By Maria Konokhova

As the World Cup 2022 recently concluded in Qatar, positive spillover effects are now being registered around the world. Several countries, despite not being participants, have managed to benefit from the world’s biggest football tournament by boosting their exports to the host nation.

During the month-long tournament, Tanzania significantly increased meat exports to Qatar, with the latter becoming the largest importer of its meat – in particular goat meat. About 37 percent of the meat exported from the East African country during that period found its way to the Gulf state, according to the Tanzania Meat Board (TMB).

“The World Cup greatly boosted demand for meat in Qatar, which is currently our biggest market,” John Chasama, the marketing manager of TMB, said.

In November alone, the country’s meat exports more than doubled, reaching 1,423 tons, up from 632 tons in October, thus registering an increase of 125%. As for the value of the exports, it also surged during the same period from $2.9 million to $5.37 million.

However, the rise was preceded by a decline in the sector, mainly due to droughts, which affected the meat quality. The marketing manager stated that even though the situation hasn’t improved, the impact on goat meat hasn’t been as strongly pronounced as on other types of meat.

“Goat meat is by far the leading export item, accounting for about 74 percent of meat exports at 1,047 tonnes, followed by mutton (343 tonnes), beef (32 tonnes), chicken (0.67 tonnes) and pork (0.2 tonnes),” according to TMB.

Nevertheless, amid the spike in sales during the World Cup, the Tanzanian meat sector faced some challenges related to the transportation issues, which affected an impressive performance.

The business operations manager of Tan Choice Limited, one of the country’s leading meat processing companies, Dr Sero Luwongo explained, as cited by the media, that Tanzania could have exported more than it had sent to the tournament’s host country, “but there were some challenges, especially about transport from Tanzania to Qatar”.

Aside from Qatar, other major markets for the East African nation’s meat include the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. Other important destinations are Kenya, Togo, Comoros, China, and Canada.

According to TMB, the country annually produces 581,804 tons of meat and meat products, with 96 percent distributed locally. Recently, Tanzania’s meat industry has been reaching more exports in particular, including enhanced co-operation between the board and meat factories as well as individual livestock keepers in order to expand exports and look for new markets following an increase in investment in value addition of its products.

TMB stated that during the first quarter of 2022, the country exported 3,256 tons of meat with a value of $13 million. The board also announced some measures aimed at increasing exports of meat to 16,000 tons annually by 2026. The measures in particular include enhanced co-operation between the board and meat factories as well as individual livestock keepers in order to expand exports and look for new markets.

Maria Konokhova is a Sputnik correspondent specialising in African studies.

This article was published on Sputnik