Government has preserved two herds of indigenous breeds as conservation for the Rwandan traditional breed of cows, an official said.
The genetically diverse and exquisitely well adapted trait of livestock is expected to be harnessed to represent the pure traditional breed ‘Inyambo’ for future generations. The breed is currently being replaced by “exotic” breeds imported from the developed world.
“We want to maintain the “pure Inyambo”— the Rwandan breed— to future generations and not be replaced by the exotic breeds imported”, said Theogene Rutagwenda, the Director General of Rwanda Animal Resources Development Authority (RARDA).
It’s said that seventy per cent of Africa’s rural poor keep livestock and 200 million people depend on the animals for their livelihoods.
Rutagwenda said that the traditional breed have successfully survived, and adapted to, an extraordinary range of diseases and climate changes.
To combat this trend of decreasing breed, the government decided to keep 130 cows in Nyagatare and 140 in Bugesera districts in the Eastern Province.
He said the indigenous breed can still be kept for low production as opposed to the commercially raised exotic breeds.
The exotic breed is expensive to maintain and it’s good for commercial purposes to improve productivity and development sustainability.
“This approach of exotic imported breed will require increased funding and extra care, but it will also offer great benefits,” he said.
RARDA is responsible to contribute towards the growth of animal production through the development of appropriate technologies to allow farmers modernise the sector in the framework provided by the national policy of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS).