For nearly eight decades, the present Tanzania Livestock Research Institute (TALIRI) Mpwapwa under various names has been well known as a Centre for Livestock Research in Tanzania. TALIRI Mpwapwa has the mandate to research on animal production, focusing on but not limited to breeding, nutrition, feeding and management of livestock, range and environment conservation. At the same time, TALIRI Mpwapwa has to ensure dissemination and application of research results through the farming systems and adaptive Research approach.
Soils and Weather
Although Mpwapwa research station is situated in the semi-arid zone, the hills which surround a great portion of the farm make the weather milder than the neighboring areas. The station’s main farm lies at an altitude of about 1,000m while Kiboriani farm is about 1,750m above sea level. The Lower Farm at Ilolo lies at 900m above sea level. The average annual rainfall is 660mm and varies greatly in distribution and amount from year to year. Drought years with low erratic rainfall, are frequently experienced. About 90% of the rain falls between December and April, and there is usually a dry spell in February. The average minimum temperature is 15.5oC, the coolest month being august (13.8oC). The average maximum temperature is 27.5oC, the warmest month being November (30.2oC). The soils are sandy loams on the slopes and clay loams along valley bottoms. They are low in nitrogen and phosphorus but adequate in potassium. The pH of the top soil range between 5.6 and 7.7, while that of the subsoil lies between 5.3 and 8.6. The natural vegetation consists of deciduous thicket of Acacia, Cassia, Grewia, Commiphora na Lannea. At altitudes above 1,200m there is fairly open Brachystegia woodland, with interspersed grass.
|Malya goat||Yearlings of Mpwapwa breed|
The Institute Farm has three parts; totaling about 7,000 ha of which 4,000ha are developed and 3,000ha are wooded hillsides. The main farm, comprising Mayawile, Kikombo, Vianze, Nunge, Mjitu and Chibwe areas covers an area of 2,000ha. The Lower Farm at Ilolo, which is representative of the Central Tanzania semi arid zone, occupies an area of 120ha. It includes an airstrip (8.5ha) maintained by the Ministry of Infrastructure. Kiboriani Farm, which lies on a plateau at the top of the Kiboriani Mountain range, covers an area of 1,800ha.