Better breeds for more milk: African dairy genetics gains bulls and cows exhibition
Today, thirty-five farmers and over fifty representatives from the Tanzanian government including Hon. Luhaga Mpina, Minister of Livestock and Fisheries, Tanzania, and Dr. Eligy Mussa Shirima, Director General of the Tanzania Livestock Research Institute (TALIRI), Tanzanian government and dairy industry leaders, representatives from neighboring African nations and international organizations, gather at the Nane Nane exhibition center for the very first public presentation of the country’s top dairy bulls and cows.
Tanzania has one of the largest livestock populations in Africa and according to the National Bureau of Statistics and the Tanzanian livestock master plan, the country has over 30 million cattle. Total annual milk production is estimated at 2.4 billion liters. An average crossbred cow yields approximately 1,400 liters of milk per lactation whereas as purebred yield approximately 400 liters per lactation. The animals were selected for their high productivity traits after screening thousands of bulls and cows in the country as part of the African Dairy Genetic Gains (ADGG) program. The bulls are being made available to farmers and private sector industries for purchasing and breeding.
An award for the top bulls was given, to partake in the National Artificial Insemination Center (NAIC) and provide opportunities for dairy farmers to take up the best seed for their cows through artificial insemination. Improved genetics of cows, combined with appropriate herd management and feeding practices, can contribute to higher productivity in the country’s dairy industry.
The African Dairy Genetics Gains (ADGG) program, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is focused on developing partnerships on dairy cattle farmers in Tanzania to overcome challenges and improve dairy production in the country. The program is led by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and its partners the Tanzanian Livestock Research Institute (TALIRI), Tanzanian Ministry of Livestock and other local government agencies, Green Dreams TECH Ltd, the Public-Private-Partnership for Artificial Insemination Delivery (PAID) program supported by Land O’Lakes International Development and an array of other international and local organizations.
Dairy farmer, Lukas Mwambona, who lives in Usongwe, Tanzania, explains how he has benefitted from the ADGG platform. After registering himself and the cow on this platform, he began to receive informative messages on improving cattle health. Watch more about his experience here
Read more about the ADGG work here