VICE-PRESIDENT’S REPORT 2011/2012 – AFRICA REGION
During the last couple of years, Africa has experienced an un-paralleled period of economic growth, driven mostly by the increased export of raw materials. A direct result of this economic boom is a growing demand for dairy products and a like-wise investment drive into acquiring a national dairy herd in these countries. In many of these countries there is a realization that the cow most adaptable for their needs is the Jersey.
Zambia is probably the leading country at present in terms of growth in Jersey numbers. Since the beginning of the 2000’s there is a concerted effort to produce more milk and a number of NGO’s and government projects have identified the Jersey as their cow of choice. This is partly driven by a good and well developed agricultural advisory service that took notice of the Jersey cow’s adaptability and ability to produce milk under extreme circumstances, as well as the well adapted crossbred cows that resulted from the Jersey/Boran crossbred program. I would like to use this opportunity to congratulate Dai Harvey and his team with a very well-run program.
Jersey SA also sighed and agreement with Genetic Breeders Africa for the export of Jersey heifers , as well as a full backup service, which include training courses by De Laval, Jersey SA and Taurus. Semen for the future will be provided by Taurus and Xseed and a full registration service will be available through Genetic Breeders Zambia, Jersey SA and SA Studbook.
Zimbabwe and Mozambique
The extremely successful Land 0 Lakes dairy project started in Zambia a few years ago has now also extended to Zimbabwe and Mozambique and in both cases the cows of choice is the Jersey. In both cases it is partly driven by a crossbred program using Jersey semen as well as the importation of Jersey heifers from SA. The success of these programs is based on the realization that without a market for the raw milk, these programs are doomed. So in both Zimbabwe and Mozambique the dairy development program and the development of a market sector go hand in hand. I am proud to say that one of our previous JETA award winners, Jenny Evans in Mozambique is still expanding her business and also buying in milk from the beneficiaries of the milk development program.
Central African Region
During June 2012 I was fortunate enough to judge the Brookside Livestock Breeders Show in Nairobi, Kenya. Apart from a very well attended dairy show where the Jerseys were well represented, there were also visitors from all the central African countries. During the show we had a Jersey meeting with representatives from Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda in attendance. There is a lot of interest from breeders in Uganda with a number of Jersey exports from Kenya done or in the pipeline.
During 2011 I attended the Jersey SA national show in Bloemfontein and the enthusiasm and numbers participating and attending, is a sign of a growing Jersey population. The Jersey is now well established as the number one dairy cow in numbers registered per annum, as well as milk recorded. I also had a number of meetings with Jersey SA and its representatives regarding the 2014 “Its Time for Africa” WJCB conference and tour and I am fully confident that the planning is well on its way to make this a memorable event.
It is my opinion that the Jersey cow is expanding at an ever growing speed through Africa. I get a lot of reports as well as enquiries about Jerseys arriving in Angola, Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, Senegal, Congo and other parts of Africa, as well as investors attesting to the adaptability of the Jersey cow. The successful introduction of Jersey populations in Rwanda, Zambia and Mozambique also underlined the fact that it pays to invest in good quality genetics, but also in a good infrastructure and well trained local population.
J J van Eeden : Vice-president for the Africa region.