Tanzania is home to 21.3 million large cattle population which makes it the biggest in Eastern Africa. However, 97% of all animals are kept by small holders who are often faced with poor productivity due to indigenous breeds (constituting 99% of all breeds). While an indigenous breed cow has the capacity to provide only 2-3 liters of milk daily, improved breeds (such as Jersey or Holstein breeds) can give as much as 7-10 liters of milk. With improved breeds, small-holder farmers can significantly increase their income by 300%. Artificial Insemination AI presents a promising way of improving the herd quality by bringing in desired genes. AI has enormous potential to reduce poverty in Tanzania and can play a significant role in the livelihoods of the most vulnerable population living in rural areas. The project has distributed 1750 goats and 167 cows of improved breeds in different coastal regions of Tanzania, which is helping people to get threefold increased market value for their products.
Matuwa Ally 47, was among the poorest farmers, hard hit by shortage of rains. His crops production reduced to 50% and he had no reliant source of income to feed his family of 5 people. He was recommended by the Village Council to receive an improved Holstein breed cow accompanied by livestock management training. Over the past three years, the cow has reproduced three times providing him with surplus of milk sufficient to feed his entire family. Thank to $5 which he is earning daily, his family is able to afford all the basic life necessities. He has been capable of providing his children with a house and sustainable resilience to future shocks. “Every time my cows produce breed, I can see my savings growing like never before, people are offering me a price 3 time greater than that for local cows”. Following Ally’s footsteps, other people have started purchasing improved breed cows.