African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6693

Full Length Research Paper

Population structure and dynamics of Ankole cattle in Uganda: Implications for sustainable utilisation of the breed

M. Nabasirye, D. R. Kugonza* and D. Mpairwe      
Department of Agricultural Production, School of Agricultural Sciences, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Makerere University, P. O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 25 June 2012
  •  Published: 04 September 2012


This study aimed at determination of structure and dynamics of Ankole cattle herds in 248 farms in Kiboga, Mbarara, Mpigi and Sembabule districts of Uganda and was conducted using a pre-tested questionnaire, administered during one-to-one interviews. Farms were randomly sampled along transects originating from the headquarters of the 19 sub-counties studied. Results showed that Ankole cattle provide livelihood support to all households, with 60.9% relying solely on them. Most farms kept a mix of livestock species and breeds, though 44.5% of farms kept pure Ankole herds. Acquisition of cows across the year was mainly through birth (41.5%), gifts (38.7%) and purchase (33.8%), though the number of cattle removed from the herds exceeded the annual acquisitions. Avenues of cattle exit included sales (39.1%), donations (35.5%), death (31.1%), theft (30.5%) and slaughter for home use (30.2%). Conservation of the Ankole breed should involve empowering households who still maintain pure herds. Such households could be given elite bulls through a ‘cow for a bull’ exchange with the National Animal Genetic Resource Centre which currently operates a nucleus herd at Nshaara ranch. To sustain the relevance of various traits and the breed itself, controlled crossbreeding should be promoted in high milk and meat demand areas.


Key words: Cattle breeding, structure, entry, exit, characterisation, conservation.