Most of the milk from cattle in Africa is produced by subsistence farmers for home consumption. As a rule, environmental conditions are unfavourable for intensive milk production, due to the climate, inadequate nutrition, the ocurrence of disease, lack of knowhow and lack of capital. Milk yields per cow are very low, and the genetic potential of the indigenous cattle populations is far below that of the dairy breeds originating in Europe. As an example, field surveys in Kenya indicate that indigenous zebu cows produce 150 - 350 Kg milk per year. Under favourable management conditions, these animals are able to produce 900 Kg per lactation (M a h a d e v a n, 1966). A similar genetic potential has been recorded for Sanga type cattle from Uganda. Slightly higher yields may be expected from indigenous cattle breeds along the Mediterranean and the Kenana in the Sudan (A l im , 1960).

K. Meyn

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 2, Madrid, Spain, 223–229, 1974
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