The county increased its meat export to Qatar, during the 1-month long football tournament. Qatar is currently the largest importer of meat from Tanzania, particularly goat meat.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain also import meat in large quantities from the East African nations. Other buyers include Kenya, Togo, Kuwait, China, Comoros, and Canada.
37% of the meat exported from Tanzania was shipped to Qatar during the World Cup. In November alone, export more than doubled, as the sector experienced a 125% increase.
The value of the meat exports also increased from $2.9 million (about Sh6.8 billion) in October to $5.37 million (about Sh12.5 billion) in November.
According to the Tanzania meat board (TMB), “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).”
The TMB marketing manager John Chasama, stated, “the World Cup greatly boosted demand for meat in Qatar, which is currently our biggest market.”
This rise in meat sales precedes a decline in the sector that was experienced a month prior. In October, the value of meat exports dropped to $2.9 million from $3.8 million registered in September, owing to large bouts of droughts.
“Cattle and goats are affected by drought in different ways. The impact is greater on cattle,” Chasama said.
Even during the World Cup, the Tanzanian meat industry was faced with transportation challenges which short-changed an already impressive spike in sales figures.
Dr. Sero Luwongo, the business operations manager of Tan Choice Limited, one of the top meat processing companies in the country, stated, “we could have exported more goat meat than we did, but there were some challenges, especially about transport from Tanzania to Qatar.”
Tanzania’s economy relies to some degree on its agricultural sector. It also houses a booming natural resource market and tourism sector.