The local production of milk is very low

Form them, the development of this breeding will provide a significant amount of milk, meat to increase the production of animal protein and reduce protein malnutrition. It also provides manure for soil fertilization and is involved in animal traction.

The Office of Statistics, Informatics and Agricultural Documentation (DSID) informs that between 1996 and 2012, 6% of agricultural households practice this livestock in Togo.

The three most favorable regions for cattle breeding are Savannah, Kara and Maritime. DSID notes that there are, however, "a few heads of cattle in the other parts of the country".

"The cultural system in Togo is the traditional extensive type focused on the exploitation of natural pastures, fallows and surface waters. In the savannahs, oxen are raised mainly for animal traction, rarely for milk production. But, in the maritime, they are raised for their milk which is sold directly in town", explains Djabangou Paguindame, zoo technician and specialist in training of the reproduction of the cattle.

Improved genetic performance

Referring to some researchers of the University of Lome (Togo), cattle herds in Togo are made up of half-breeds; it means the result of the crossing between pure breeds.

The local production of milk is very low, about 9600 tons in 2010 according to the research of Daouda Dao in 2013, which naturally does not cover the needs of the population.

Since 2016, the state has introduced the practice of artificial insemination to increase milk productivity. "Insemination makes it possible to produce a lot more milk, improves the genetic performance of our animals, and also allows for calving and avoiding consanguinity problems in the parks," explains researcher Dao.

A long cycle of reproduction

It is advisable to start with 3 or even 5 young females or heifers with on breeding male. "Young females (heifers) ready for breeding must be between 2 and 3 years, that is at least 60% of their adult weight of at least 150kg", specify the specialists of the cattle production.

The normal cycle in this animal is 21 days. The riding takes place on heat observed for a period of 8 to 24 hours. A cow in heat easily accepts the overlap by her mate and its gestation lasts 9 months; that is 270 days on average.

"In order to control the reproduction of cattle, we can induce and synchronize heat in cows by the administration of hormones following a systematic and iterative protocol," advises Mr. Djabangou. He says that it is a very promising breeding if the monitoring is well done.

Now, the main puzzle!

Although promising, the cattle farmer encounters difficulties related mainly to the lack of fodder, pasture area, water points. According to experts, the most difficult with these animals is the control of their diseases which are Trypanosomosis, Babesiosis, Brucellosis, Tuberculosis and the most to be feared is anthrax.

Anthrax remains a notifiable disease and is part of the 14 notifiable diseases of REMATO (Animal Disease Epidemiological Surveillance Network of Togo).

"It is a very contagious infectious disease caused by Bacillus anthraces, which is very dangerous and very difficult to eradicate because the bacteria can produce spores. When the animal has this disease, its whole body (blood, muscle and skin) becomes black", says Kogna Kombate, veterinary, doctor in animal health.

Dr. Kombate explains that "this disease is present on all continents and causes very high mortalities in ruminants and in Togo, it is much more prevalent in the north of the country especially in the savannah region and a little in the Kara region".

This very dangerous disease, he informs, "reaches man because it is a major zoonosis". "For such a disease, the animal must not be bleed, because once the bacteria come into contact with the oxygen-containing ambient air, they form spores that last up to 90 years in the wild waiting for a favorable body to reproduce again," warns Dr. Kombate.

He added that in Togo, "a fight is being waged against illegal slaughtering in order to take good care of the population who consume this meat".

Some crafts

Obviously, cattle breeding is good if only, monitoring is very well done. In order to successfully expand one’s livestock, the most commonly practiced systems are pastoralism, nomadism, transhumance, ranching, agro pastoralism, and agro-sylvo-pastoralism.

In Togo, specialists advise much more pastoralism and ranching but also agro-sylvo-pastoralism. So, what are you waiting for to make your  decision?

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