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Ethiopia and Tanzania now hold Africa’s largest livestock population

Ethiopia has the largest livestock than any other country in Africa, making the East African powerhouse the continent’s best destination for leather and meat factories. This was revealed in a new report on livestock census conducted on the African continent.

The new livestock data published by Tanzania’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that Ethiopia leads with an overwhelming 60.39 million cattle while Tanzania in the second position boasts of 33.9million cattle, according to The Citizen.

The report on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Census for 2019/2020 said Tanzania was host to 24.5 million goats herded by small scale farmers while 33.3million goats were being herded by large scale farmers.

“In the survey conducted, peasants were found with 8.5mllion sheep while large-scale farmers have 24.2million sheep. Again the peasants were found with 3.2million pigs while large scale farmers are rearing 5.1million pigs,” Dr Albina Chuwa the Director General of NBS said.

The survey found that Tanzania had a total of 87.7million chicken out of which 75.1 million were processed by smallholder farmers while 12.6million were being reared by large scale farmers.

In addition, also showed that 3.1 billion litres of cows’ milk and 53.1 million litres of goats’ milk were produced in the 2019/20 agricultural year.

The survey also found that the sector contributed 24.7 percent of Tanzania’s foreign exchange earnings through exports of agricultural products.

In Rwanda, the cattle population has risen to 1.3 million. Prior to the Rwanda Genocide in 1994, the cattle population was estimated at 600,000, according to Taarifa.

Rwanda has made steady progress over the last two decades as data from 2018 showed the country was one of the most livestock-sufficient in Africa with a total of 5.44 million chickens, 1.33 million pigs, 2.73 million goats, 1.26 million rabbits, and over 600,000 sheep.

Overall, the report pointed to a marked improvement in East African livestock production. That region of Africa has for a while held the highest concentration of livestock per agricultural land area.


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