The production of meat and meat products in Sub-Saharan Africa is considered to have received insufficient attention vis-à-vis the progress made in livestock production/development. The established meat marketing systems are still largely based on early morning slaughter and sale of meat the same day. Very little initiatives have been taken in the development of meat product industry. In the absence of refrigeration, present practices result in high post-slaughter losses and possible health hazards as, without refrigeration, fresh meat cannot be stored for more than 24 hours. Thus distribution within countries is limited, in fact restricted to the perimeters of actual slaughter. In such a circumstance, wastage is high and meat product trade cannot be promoted. With relative simple processing methods, meat could be processed into low cost, shelf-stable products, which would also be affordable for the lower income sections of the population within these countries and this will result in a considerable improvement in the dietary conditions. While basic raw materials (livestock, seasoning products, filling materials, etc) are available, technologies are known and within competence of trained manpower, and private sector firms could be interested in meat and meat products processing and trade, the economic environment in most of the countries and the region are not conducive to the required private investment. Low demand resulting mainly from low income and lack of a trade system do not encourage private investment of the minimum economic scale.
As demand and trade systems cannot be built up overnight, a process of development is required. The proposed project is designed to initiate the process of development through introducing suitable technology, promotion of demand, enhancing the beginning of a trading system, and providing training covering the range needed for initiating meat and meat product processing and marketing. By involving the private sector in the efforts, the foundation will be laid for private sector initiatives in developing suitable processing and trade in meat and meat products. The project was aimed to develop in a LDC country, Uganda, a pilot meat processing line for training in meat processing and product development, and development of related trade. The project components include: the establishment of a pilot meat processing facility; dissemination of meat processing methods throughout the (sub-) region by providing hands-on training in meat processing and product development as well as management and trade development for meat processors from the region; and preparation of necessary manuals for use by the trainees in introducing the acquired technology in their home countries. The project, including the pilot processing plant, was formed as part of the Industrial Research Institute in Kampala and after the completion; the institute was used as a regional training centre in meat processing, product development and trade.