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Estimating the economic significance of pastoralism: The example of the nyama choma sector in Tanzania

What contribution does pastoralism make to the local, regional and national economies of Tanzania? This is the question this paper seeks to answer because to many observers, including policy makers, pastoralism contributes very little. And yet, Tanzania is estimated to have the third largest livestock herd in Africa. This paper presents the results of a study on the dynamics of the nyama choma sector in the Arusha municipality of Tanzania. Nyama choma, which means roast meat in Kiswahili, is a complex and evolving sector involving a long chain of industry participants, beginning with the cattle reared within the pastoral systems, through slaughter, to final preparation and sale of the meat. This study examines every stage of the supply chain, evaluating its contribution to the economy of the municipality as well as the national economy.

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Since 2006, we have done significant innovative work with partners to dispel the misconception that drylands are unproductive, generating evidence on returns from drylands to contribute to positive policy by fighting policymakers' misconceptions that drylands are economically inefficient and environmentally destructive.

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