VICE-PRESIDENT’S REPORT FOR AFRICA 2010
Johannes Van Eeden
The year 2010 was tough on world economy, milk prices and Jersey breeders all over the world and Africa was affected just like any other regions. The adaptability and of the Jersey cow and its economic functional traits, once again carried the Jersey through these tough times and all over Africa we see the Jersey cow growing its dominant position and established itself as the breed of choice.
Unfortunately feedback from some of our member countries are not what it should be and although I tried very hard, communication still seems to be the number one obstacle in the proper functioning of the WJCB.
Reports from Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa seems to underline the fact that the Jersey not only commands the number one position in terms of cow numbers, but also is the breed of choice for both developing and commercial farmers alike.
South Africa with 85,000 registered Jerseys is the power house of the continent and also the source of Jerseys for most countries importing live animals nowadays. The Jersey in SA is maintaining its position as the number one dairy breed and the tough economic times are underlining the profitability of the breed.
During 2009 we also saw the first shipment of 221 Jerseys from South Africa to Mozambique. This is a country with vast possibilities in terms of dairy production. Some Zimbabwe Jersey breeders relocated to Mozambique and Land-o-Lakes also established a dairy development program in Mozambique. This program is exclusively based on the Jersey breed or crossing local cattle with Jerseys. During 2009 we saw 538 inseminations with Jersey semen and with the support of the provincial Manica government, a dairy re-stocking program are currently in progress.
Zambia is the other star performer of the region. At the moment Zambia have approximately 5,000 Jerseys producing an average of 4,500kgs of milk at 4.9 %bf. During 2090 we saw 2,000 inseminations of purebred Jerseys and 1,000 on crossbred cows. In this country with a very fast growing Jersey population, the demand for Jerseys is outstripping supply by far.
Zimbabwe unfortunately is not doing well. Joan Dodman, the last secretary of the Zimbabwe Jersey Society, reports that the society has ceased to exist and that there are only 3 or 4 Jersey herds left in the country.
After numerous e-mails and messages to our other Central and Southern African member countries, I must unfortunately acknowledge, that I was unable to get reports from them. I communicated with Kenya and asked them about the possibility to have our 2012 WJCB council meeting in their country, but due to numerous reasons they cannot accept.
I do sincerely hope that the upswing in dairy prices worldwide will also see the Jersey in these countries returning to their dominant position.