Thursday, May 23, 2024
Home Farming Tips How Ankole Cows Are Attracting Tourists

How Ankole Cows Are Attracting Tourists

by Jacquiline Nakandi
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By Joshua Kato and Christopher Ahimbisibwe

Tourism in Uganda is an increasingly important contributor to the country’s economy.

According to the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, there are more than 1.5 million international arrivals, combined with a growing number of domestic tourists, which generates more than 3.64% of Uganda’s gross domestic product.

However, agriculture tourism is one aspect that farmers are just picking up.

According to NAGRC&DB, ankole cows are mainly found in Nyabushozi, Kiruhura district.

Other areas include Sembabule and Lyantonde districts, both of which neighbour Kiruhura.

Ankole cattle have also done well in Isingiro district, Kashari in Mbarara, Kiboga and Masindi districts, especially around River Kafu. All these areas are located in the cattle corridor of Uganda.

In addition, the ankole cattle also survive in other low-lying and sparsely populated areas.

Emmanuel Kamihingo inspecting his cows. Photos by Christopher Ahimbisibwe

Emmanuel Kamihingo, a farmer says farmers in Kiruhura district and other parts of the country who rear ankole cows are transforming their farms into agro-tourism centres due to the breed’s uniqueness and strength.

“The milk has more butter/fat than that from the hybrids, the beef is also more delicious,” he says.

They are resistant to hot weather and diseases. Various dairy farmers say their milk produces the best butter/ghee.

“While the men manage the herd, the women process the milk into ghee. Traditionally, this was intended to keep the women interested in the cows,” Patience Naturinda, who sells ghee in the Mbarara locality of Biharwe, says.

Attractive activities

“There are so many activities that we can do both to conserve and attract tourists to the ankole cattle,” Kamihingo says.

Animal breeding is done to conserve ankole animals and those interested in the breed can buy the stock.

Kamihingo says many other farmers have got their breeds from his farm.

“Other activities done on this farm include learning how to milk cows, grazing, how to control pests and diseases on the farm, as well as making butter or ghee.”

Farmers are now mobilising to start dairies to market milk from ankole cows.

“We have coolers for milk from ankole cows and this will promote the value of this cow because whoever tastes this milk and compares it with that of hybrids usually does not go back,” he says.

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