Posts Tagged ‘Goat’

Norwegian goat genes in 300,000 Tanzanian goats

April 12, 2013

Now this is a project which makes sense to me unlike so many of the WWF or other so-called “conservation” projects. A project which looks forward rather than looking back, which looks to manage change by adapting livestock  for new realities rather than trying to stop change.

Science Nordic reports that 80 Norwegian dairy goats which were transplanted into Tanzania 30 years ago have bred with Tanzanian goats to create a brand new goat dairy economy where none existed.


Eighty Norwegian dairy goats were flown into Tanzania thirty years ago. Now there are 300,000 goats with genes from these founder animals on dairy farms in mountainous areas. 

Tanzania’s Uluguru Mountains are a green paradise, with verdant slopes that rise over 2,600 metres. But now, not far from forests populated with yellow baboons, blue monkeys and black-and-white colobus monkeys, you’ll find goats of Norwegian ancestry in the mountain towns of this East African country.

The goats live on steep terraced hills planted with corn, bananas and coffee, at altitudes that would be barren and rocky in Scandinavia. They are a result of a long-term Norwegian-Tanzanian research partnership aimed at boosting small-scale milk production. The partnership has helped many farmers diversify and has yielded tangible benefits. ….. 


Professor Lars Olav Eik has decorated his office at UMB in Ås, Norway, with Norwegian and African cowbells. As an up-and-coming agronomist he accompanied the first goat kids to Tanzania in 2009. He still coordinates the Norwegian input to the project. Professors Martin Luther Kyomo of Tanzania and Asmund Ekern and Ola Syrstad of Norway initiated the effort. The outset was a desire to boost the East African country’s dairy production. Goats were a natural choice. “Goats are known as the poor man’s cows,” says Eik.

“We discovered that Tanzania had no dairy goats and decided to send them some Norwegian kid goats,” says Eik. The first goats were transported by air, with the young goats shipped in cargo cages designed for dogs — three kids per cage. 

The animals have since interbred with local goats. There may be as many as 300,000 goats in Tanzania with Norwegian genes. That figure is just a rough estimate because no one has actually conducted a goat census. What is certain is that the popularity of the Norwegian goats expanded way beyond the framework of the research project. …..

Dairy goats with Norwegian genes are now established in the economy of many peasant farmers in Tanzania. Simforiani L. Mahenge and his wife Jovita Joseph with their favourite goat, a ten-year-old animal named Chama. (Photo: Asle Rønning,

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