Cattle keeping in Africa supports the livelihood of a large population especially those who live in the arid and semi arid regions. Cattle are kept for beef and milk and for other benefits like hides and skins, labour for land preparation and transport and manure production.
Cattle farming in Africa is practiced by both small scale farmers and large scale production farming companies.
Dairy farming is now a rewarding business and in countries where good practice is followed, the profits are good. Egypt, Sudan, South Africa and Kenya are some of Africa’s countries with a thriving business in cattle products.
In a country like Kenya, 80% of milk is produced by about 600,000 small scale farmers whereas in South Africa the market is dominated by about 4000 large scale farmers.
Even though Kenya produces more milk than South Africa, it earns less money. In comparison, Kenya produced 3.5 billion litres of milk in 2006 and earned Ksh.64 billion whereas South Africa produced 2.6 litres and earned Ksh. 220 billion. Why? It’s because most of the milk is consumed unprocessed in Kenya but in South Africa it is processed to produce value added products that have a longer shelf life and sell more money.
This shows that Dairy farming has huge potential but only if it is managed well by good breeding, feeding and management.
In this section, we shall learn about;
- Cattle Breeds
- Breeding and Managing your Cattle
- Creating your Cattle Records
- Birth and Caring for the Calf
- Milking and Milk Management
- Cattle feed and feeding Practices
- Cattle Diseases
- Cattle Products