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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Milk production performance of Ankole crossbreds and Holstein Friesian cattle in different production environments of Rwanda

Manzi, Maximillian; Ntawubizi, Martin; Hirwa, Claire D'andre; Strandberg, Erling


The aim of the study was to assess the productive performance of dairy cattle in three different agro-ecological zones of Rwanda: Congo-Nile/Western (WAZ), Central plateau/Central (CAZ), and Eastern plateau/East Agro-ecological Zones (EAZ). A single-visit multi-subject survey was conducted to obtain information on the dairy cattle performance from 51 farms. The breed groups were classified as Ankole x Holstein Friesian (AF), other Ankole crossbreds (AX), and pure Holstein Friesian (F). The F had higher (p < 0.001) milk yield than AF in all zones except EAZ and AF had higher (p < 0.0001) milk yield than AX in all zones. Across all zones, F produced 9 L more than AX and 6 L more than AF per day. Cows from EAZ had the highest average milk yield; however, it was not significantly different from CAZ. The difference that was observed between AF in EAZ and AF in the other two zones indicates that agro-ecological zones should not only be the target in livestock development activities rather additional factors such as feed availability at farm level, social economic, and market infrastructure should be considered in Rwanda.


Breed groups; Milk yield; Agro-ecological zones; Rwanda

Published in

Tropical Animal Health and Production
2022, Volume: 54, number: 6, article number: 358
Publisher: SPRINGER