Socio-economic constraints affecting performance of traditional sheep systems of Tanzania: A case of Mpwapwa and Longido districts, Tanzania

Germinus Tungu, George Kifaro, Angaza Gimbi


The main objective of this study was to examine the
performance of sheep livestock sub sector under pastoral and
agro-pastoral schemes in the Tanzanian farming systems.
Specifically the study was conducted at Mpwapwa and Longido
districts in the Central and Northern farming systems of Tanzania
respectively, to gather socio-economic factors affecting sheep
production and productivity in Tanzania. PRA was employed to
understand the socio-economic set up of the communities
involved in the sheep sub sector.
Results show that majority (91.30%) of households at
Mpwapwa district are male headed as compared to (8.70%)
female headed households, while at Longido majority are also
male headed households (77.50%) and only 22.50% are female
headed households. Most farmers are elite and they can
comprehend sheep technologies as about 90% of the respondents
could read and write. Farmers depend mainly on agriculture and
livestock for their livelihood as about 60% of the households at
Mpwapwa and 53% of the household at Longido practice both
crops and livestock production. They also practice some off-farm
activities like petty business at a level of 18 and 22% for
Mpwapwa and Longido respectively. Almost all farmers
admitted that sheep provides regular cash income and an
insurance against emergencies, therefore sheep were important
resource for their livelihoods. Sheep sub sector faces major
constraints like inadequate access to improved grazing in terms
of carrying capacity (CC). There is lack of capacity in planning
land resource use and inadequate knowledge on supplementary
feeding. Sheep husbandry like housing, vaccinations and disease
control are also inadequate. There no proper marketing
infrastructure of both sheep and products. Involvement of women
in sheep welfare is high to a tune of 56.25% in comparison to
only 25% of men involvement, whereas the knowledge and
innovations of sheep production is centered more to men
(61.25%) than women (23.75%) of households. Policies are not
that much effective in promoting sheep sub sector.
It is concluded that improvement of sheep sub sector could
be effected through full involvement of all stakeholders. Both
research and extension systems need to be supported fully by
government to improve sheep farmers’ production systems.

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