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Niger imports superior cattle breeds from South Africa

Niger has bought more than 72 different breeds of cattle, as well as 700 boar goats and doper sheep, from South African firm UCK Investments

This is reportedly the first large-scale import into the West African nation.

Niger said that this is a step to upgrade the local breed of animals in the country and improve their yield at harvest periods, Nigerian Tribune reported.

Anna Gogo Lanko, permanent secretary of Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock Development, said, “The coming of these animals is a realisation of our dreams in upgrading our animals. But importing these animals did not mean that we have the intention of eradicating our indigenous breeds, rather we just want to upgrade local animals.

Veterinary consultant Isah Yahaya Vatsa explained that most of the brown cattle are Bonsmaras, which he described as beef breed and a cross between African cattle and the European ones.

He added that the red and white cattle were a breed for dairy production called Ayrshire.

“The challenge is just to get the young animals through the growth phase with good nutrition so that they can grow up healthy. These breeds will have the ability to improve the production capacity of local animals significantly in cross breeding programmes,” Vatsa added.