The story of cattle in Africa: Why diversity matters

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Cattle are central to the lives and diverse cultures of Africa’s people. This book highlights how cattle have evolved in Africa over centuries and illustrates the varied and vital roles they have
played in the past and continue to play today.

Robust, genetically diverse African cattle are treasured assets for estimated 800 million livestock keepers across the continent. Cattle are a critically important daily source of food and nutrition, of much needed income, and of nitrogen-rich manure for replenishing soils and other uses. They also fulfill a wide variety of socio-cultural roles.

The book showcases a few of the continent’s indigenous cattle breeds, highlighting their social, cultural, economic, genetic and environmental importance. Through stories told by farmers, one learns about the contribution these animals make to the livelihoods of their keepers as well as those who participate in the extended range of economic activity that surrounds each animal.

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