Hybrid cattle boost milk production in Eastern

Milk production in Eastern Province has increased from 21,000 litres daily (21 tonnes) in 2003 to 44,000 litres (44 tonnes) this year.
Friesian cow. (File photo)
Friesian cow. (File photo)

Milk production in Eastern Province has increased from 21,000 litres daily (21 tonnes) in 2003 to 44,000 litres (44 tonnes) this year.

The districts rears hybrid cattle that produce more milk compared to the local ones.

Augustine Katabarwa, chairman of Umutara Dairy Marketing Cooperative Union adds that adequate rainfall received this season has also boosted the production, saying cows have a lot of water to drink and plenty of grass to feed on.

It is estimated that the population of cattle in the region is over 286,000, and of these, 24,000 are cross breeds and Friesians.

An official from Rwanda Animal Resource Development Agency (Rarda) says whereas a local cow produces 2 litres, a crossbreed will give the farmer 12 litres while a Friesian yields 20 litres daily.

With the increasing milk production, records from the cooperative show that more milk is consumed in the districts.

The data show that 27,000 litters of milk are consumed daily while 2,500 litters are turned into cheese. The province sold over 49,456 cattle in 2006 bringing in Frw6.9 billion.

Dr Eugene Rutagwenda, Director General Rarda said over 189,752 tonnes of milk are produced in the country daily.

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