AU, TALIRI in cross boundary training on indigenous cattle

15Jul 2019
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
AU, TALIRI in cross boundary training on indigenous cattle

TANZANIAN livestock keepers are in Kenya for training on improvement and protection of indigenous cattle breeds under the support from the Tanzania Livestock Research Institute (TALIRI) and the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR).

The farmers who belong to a livestock keepers’ association in Longido District will benefit from instruction on artificial insemination (AI), protection of traditional cattle breeds and development of animal feeding farms.

They will also exchange experience with their counterparts from the Transmara zone in Kenya. The farmers are trained on protecting the traditional Sahiwal breeds available in most East African countries, organisers said.

The project coordinator on the Tanzanian side, Dr Zebron Nziku said the program is beneficial to livestock keepers especially as the government is working to improve and protect indigenous cattle breeds.

The project which addresses problems of improvement and protection of indigenous cattle breeds is supported by the African Union, the European Union and the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries.

“We have trained them on how to protect indigenous cattle breeds especially Sahiwal. The training involved cattle farmers and livestock officers from Longido and Transmara,” said Dr Nziku, noting that the farmers will be able to produce more indigenous cattle breeds.

Kenyan beef cattle keepers in Transmara have successfully managed to protect indigenous breeds and are producing many Sahiwal cattle through artificial insemination, he stated.

Dr Nziku noted that Tanzania and Kenya are implementing the project to boost productivity for the East African market and exports.

Most Sahiwal trans-boundary breeds available in East Africa also have the capacity to produce 14 to 16 liters of milk per day.

“This project is meant to improve the welfare of livestock keepers through increased productivity,” he elaborated.

Project managers have acquired three Sahiwal heifers that are kept at the National Artificial Insemination Centre (NAIC) in Arusha for production of the best cattle breeds, he said.

Neema Urassa, the project co-coordinator for TARILI in Dodoma said a total of 100 livestock keepers were put through a number capacity building seminars.

The project helps farmers to improve nutrition in their daily meals by increased uptake of milk and enhanced income from milk and beef production.

Dr Paul Mollel, the director of NAIC, urged cattle farmers to adapt to modern improved breeds for increased productivity. The center is open to all farmers as it has the best cattle breeds to enable farmers produce enough for food and commerce.

A Marketing Department official at the ministry, Abdalla Temba said the government is committed to ensure availability of the best cattle breeds across the country.

He said the cattle breeds cover both dairy and beef cattle farmers.

Peter Lengooya ole Kipara, the vice chairman of the Longido Livestock Keepers Association, commended the governments of Kenya and Tanzania for providing them with the training.

David ole Mosingo, the leader of Sahiwal Livestock Keepers Association in Kenya, said farmers had benefited with training, vowing to use acquired skills to practice modern cattle farming to enhance productivity.

The Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Luhaga Mpina recently indicated that Tanzania is rich in livestock resources with a total of 32.2 million cattle.

In his ministerial estimates to the legislature, he also said the country is endowed with 20 million goats, 5.5m sheep, two million pigs and 636,997 donkeys.

There are also 79.1 million chickens of which 38.5 million are traditional chicken breeds and 40.6 million broilers, he asserted.