Welcome to the World Jersey Cattle Bureau
 

 

WORLD JERSEY CATTLE BUREAU

VICE-PRESIDENT FOR AFRICA REPORT FOR 2011

 

Introduction

It is only seven months since our last meeting in Albania and although the Jersey world has moved on, it is not easy to get reports from all our member countries in the limited time frame.

There is significant Jersey expansion in many parts of Africa, many of it NGO driven, but mostly based on the well proven efficiency and adaptability of the Jersey breed.

 

New Jersey Expansion

During the last few years we have seen many Jerseys exported from South Africa to Rwanda and with a well planned training program as well as an extremely well organised assistance program from Jersey Island, this has proven to be an example on how to do a proper development program.  The Jersey is well and truly established in Rwanda, with a well developed support program. There is a very good program of crossing the local ‘Ankole’ cattle to Jerseys as well as initiatives to develop the market for the products of the Jersey cow. This program includes the training of AI personnel as well as people in adding value to the milk through secondary products like cheese and yogurt. I would like to congratulate the farmers in Rwanda as well as the governments of Rwanda and Jersey Island for their support and commitment.

During the last few years we have also seen the establishment of a size-able population of Jersey cattle in Mozambique and I am proud to confirm that one of the people involved in that development will be representing Africa as its JETA representative at the WJCB conference in New Zealand. Again the success of the program not only rests on the successful introduction and management of a Jersey herd, but most definitely also on the management of the end product.  I know delegates are looking forward to meeting and hearing about the experiences of our Mozambique breeders.

Nigeria also saw the introduction of Jerseys over the last 3 years and already a second herd has been established. As in the case of Mozambique, it is the adaptability of the Jersey cows that made these successful introductions possible.

In Zambia the Jersey expansion program supported by Land-of-Lakes is going from strength to strength. Again the secret is good technical support, training and a market for the end product. Apart from imports from South Africa, the program is once again using the technique of upgrading of local cattle by the use of Jersey semen.

 

Established Jersey Populations

This is the 75th anniversary of the Kenya Jersey Society and I would like to use this opportunity to congratulate all the breeders in that country as well as the council on a job well done over many years. Over the years they have continued to expand the breed and introduce new breeders as well as maintain the core of established breeders. Many well known judges from Canada, England, Jersey, New Zealand and South Africa have judged there and animals have been exported to Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Ethiopia and Zanzibar over the years. A special note of thanks to the families, Rees, Mills and Grammaticas for their persistent support over many years!

Jersey South Africa once again established a record in the number of animals inspected in 2010 and the Jersey is now truly established as the number one dairy breed in the country. During the last 2 years a persistent drought in most of the milk producing coastal belt of the country as well as record low dairy prices has put the dairy industry under tremendous pressure. Once again the Jersey cow has proved herself to be efficient and able to withstand these challenges and is the cow of choice of the commercial dairy farmers. Jerseys from South Africa keep on populating other African countries with animals shipped and flown as far afield as Nigeria in West Africa.

Jersey SA will host the 2014 WJCB Conference and tour and the council and local breeders are looking forward to showing the Jersey world the diversity of Jersey breeding and dairy farming in South Africa, as well as the beauty and diversity of that very dynamic country.

 

Conclusion

Although we sometimes have trouble in communicating with some of our member countries, the Jersey breed is firmly established in many parts of Africa. With many African countries establishing record economic growth rates, the demand for quality food is growing and the demand for the Jersey cow and its efficiency will reach record levels over the next few years. It will be a challenge to Jersey breeders in Africa and elsewhere to meet these challenges, but the opportunity is one not to be missed.

 

Johannes van Eeden

Vice-president for Africa

 

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