Veterinary Issues and Livestock Development in Zanzibar: Farmer Practices and Attitudes

Shauna Milne-Price

Tanzania: Zanzibar: Coastal Ecology and Natural Resource Management


The status of veterinary issues, veterinary care, and livestock development on the Zanzibar Archipelago was investigated through interviews with professionals in the fields of veterinary services and livestock development, community animal health workers (CAHWs), and livestock extension officers. In addition, a survey of livestock farmers’ access to, attitudes towards, and the actual effectiveness of veterinary care systems and livestock extension services was conducted in Pemba and Unguja. Particular emphasis was placed on comparing famers who had participated in Farmer Field Schools (FFS), a livestock education program run by the Agricultural Services Support Program (ASSP), with those who had not. The results were also analyzed in terms of farmers owning exotic or mixed-breed animals versus those owning only indigenous animals. Dairy cow production was found to be significantly more profitable than keeping local zebu, but exotic chickens were not necessarily more profitable than local chickens. The survey results indicated that while the FFS program was certainly beneficial to farmers, it was most relevant to farmers who were already raising mixed-breed animals. Furthermore, many of the differences found between the two sample groups were likely a result of the FFS selection process, which attracted farmers already owning exotic animals, and not an outcome of the field schools themselves. In order for livestock production to be exploited in Zanzibar in a way that helps alleviate poverty, farmers need financial support to expand and sustain production, at least until their animals become profitable. Future livestock development programs should focus on micro-finance and other such systems of financial or resource support, not just education.