U.S. exports of bovine genetics to Rwanda helped increase dairy cattle productivity by nearly 500 percent.
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USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT
GAIN Report Number:
U.S. Bovine Semen Exports Success in Rwanda
Export Accomplishments - Other
U.S. exports of bovine genetics to Rwanda helped increase dairy cattle productivity by nearly 500
According to ABS TCM Ltd, a Kenya-based distributor of U.S. dairy genetics, Rwanda imported
$540,000 of bovine semen in 2010, the first and largest sales of gender sorted semen in Africa. The
United States supplied all Rwandan conventional Holstein semen and two-thirds of sexed semen
Reportedly, Rwanda was among the lowest milk producing countries in the world, with 3.2 liters per
cow/day compared to 36 liters in the U.S. Of the 1.2 million cattle in the country, only 13.6 percent
produce milk. In addition, per capita milk consumption remains low in the region (less than 20 liters
annually compared to 100 liters in Kenya and 22 liters in Uganda).
In 2006, the Government of Rwanda initiated a ?One-Cow-One Household? program to boost milk
production and reduce child malnutrition. By distributing 70,000 cows, the program has reached 28
percent of the 250,000 households targeted, although scrutiny has befallen this program because some
ineligible households have benefited. A former USDA Cochran fellow (recruited by FAS/Nairobi), in
charge of the program, has been working with Rwandan dairy farmers to use U.S. gender sorted
genetics since his training program in 2009. As a result, Rwandan milk production has increased from
3.2 liters to 19 liters per day.