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       World Jersey Cattle Bureau

 

2009 Report of the Vice President for Africa 

 

 

 

Introduction:

The world economic crisis has had a major effect on the dairy industry in Africa as with all other regions of the WJCB.  Luckily there are some positive factors emerging from this worldwide catastrophe.  The Jersey’s ability to produce milk more economically, and especially from pastures rather than expensive bought in rations, has resulted in a dramatic increase in Jersey numbers over recent years across the region.  Countries in the Africa with established Jersey populations have a proven track record in the region and now the Jersey has become the cow of choice.

South Africa

At the top of the list of Jersey countries is South Africa, with the worlds’ forth largest registered Jersey population of 90,787 registered and approximately 100,000 grade Jerseys. Over the last year the Jersey has surpassed the Holstein with total number of registered cows as well as with total number of cows on milk recording.  Total Jersey semen sales have increased from 270,000 in 2007 to 320,000 in 2008.  Animals are exported all over Africa with the main destinations being Mozambique, Botswana, Rwanda, Ghana, Swaziland, Tanzania and the Kingdom of Lesotho.

Kenya

Kenya is also one of the established Jersey countries in Africa, with a long history of Jersey breeding. Annually 3,700 animals are milk recorded by 17 Jersey breeders. There are approximately 10-15,000 grade Jerseys in Kenya and exports were completed to Zanzibar, Uganda and Tanzania.

Mozambique

Mozambique is a new Jersey country and with a number of Zimbabwe farmers that moved across the border it should soon establish itself as a growing Jersey population. Land-o-Lakes is busy with a similar project to the extremely successful one in Zambia and the cow of choice is the Jersey with 400 on order from South Africa.

Zambia

David Harvey reports from Zambia that the Jersey is the animal of choice for most dairy farmers. There are approximately 3,000 purebred and 2,000 Jersey crosses in milk, with about 1,000 inseminations undertaken in 2008 using Jersey semen on other breeds.

Tanzania

Tanzania is another country moving forward fast with Jersey numbers. Approximately 1,000 purebred Jerseys are in milk and the A.I. station has young Jersey bulls from South Africa and Kenya and is selling approximately 10,000 straws of Jersey semen per annum.

Rwanda, Uganda & Ghana

Rwanda are still going strong on their very successful Heifer Project International, with Uganda also trying to get a similar project with Jerseys going.  Also Ghana made its first successful importation of Jerseys.

Conclusion

The Jersey in Africa is at a extremely interesting growing phase and by controlling the quality of animals sent into this new and exciting area, we the Jersey breeders of the world are opening new opportunities to market our products as well as proving to dairy farmers around the world that we have the best adapted dairy breed for these challenging circumstances.

One of the biggest challenges is to get contacts in these new Jersey countries and to keep these contacts going. The benefits of our long term involvement in Africa are starting to pay off and over the next few years we should see an explosion in Jersey numbers all over Africa.

Respectfully submitted

Johannes van Eeden

Vice President for Africa

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