Vietnam strong market for some Texas cattle flown overseas – Seattle Times

HOUSTON (AP) — Ten Brahman bulls sat patiently in 10-by-8-foot crates as the doors were drilled shut. They peeped through slats when lifted some two stories into the air and onto a Boeing 747 cargo plane at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. They would go much higher and farther during the 30-hour-plus journey to Vietnam.

The Houston Chronicle reports international sales of Texas cattle are not new, but they are increasing as population growth and rising incomes around the world have more people introducing beef, pork and other meat-based proteins into their diets.

“As their incomes go up, people eat more meat,” said David Anderson, a professor and agriculture economist at Texas A&M University. “And so there are countries who want to upgrade their quality of meat production and quantity of meat production.”

In Vietnam, specifically, beef production has been relatively stagnant while demand has increased. Imported beef made up 19 percent of consumption in 2016, compared with 5 percent in 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Most Read Stories

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks.

Seeing the strong demand, Vietnamese producers have been investing in their herds. The USDA reports the value of U.S. shipments of live cattle and bovine semen reached $11.6 million and $1.1 million, respectively, between January and August.

Houston-area exports of live animals to Vietnam was worth $731,554 last year, according to WISERTrade data provided by the Greater Houston Partnership.

The 10 Texas Brahmans flown out in late October will be bred with local cows to improve Vietnamese beef’s quality and quantity. Texas cattle have more meat with better marbling and tenderness.

And since one bull produces 30,000 units of semen throughout his lifetime — about two units of semen are required to inseminate a cow — each of these 10 bulls could produce 5,000 calves.

Alfredo A. Muskus, of the family-owned Santa Elena Ranch in Madisonville, first went to Vietnam a year ago on a trade mission with the American Brahman Breeders Association, based in Houston, and Holstein Association USA. Santa Elena sent its first shipment of bulls to Vietnam in March.

“I think a lot of cattlemen in the United States need to start realizing that there’s a lot of international markets,” Muskus said.

Eight of the bulls headed to Vietnam were from Santa Elena Ranch. The other two were from Detering Red Brahmans.

After the cattle were loaded onto the plane in their two crates, Muskus climbed aboard himself. As the livestock attendant for the flight, he would sit on the 747’s upper deck while the cattle, with some room to lie down inside their crates, are in the bottom portion of the plane. Muskus will feed the animals and be available should they need anything.

He compared it to flying in first class with food and a few lie-flat beds. The cattle might as well be flying first class, too, as the cost to ship a bull to Vietnam is similar to the cost of a premium airline ticket.

The 747 departed for Anchorage, Alaska, and will then fly to Taipei, Taiwan. The crates are unloaded in Taipei and placed onto another plane that will travel to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and then their ultimate destination in Hanoi.

The cattle will be taken to a breeding station that, according to an article in the Brahman Journal, is run by the Vietnamese government. It collects semen from beef and dairy bulls to sell to local producers.

Vietnam is just one of the markets where Texas cattle are being sent. Muskus said 60 percent of his ranch’s business is with international customers. He’s sent live Brahman cattle, frozen semen or frozen embryos to countries including Thailand, Pakistan, Venezuela, Paraguay, Colombia and Mexico.

The Texas Department of Agriculture has also expanded international agriculture trade programs. It has coordinated activities on every continent, except Antarctica, and the department said trade missions to countries like China have opened new markets for Texas.

The department’s Livestock Export Facility at Bush Intercontinental Airport was built in 1978 to export cattle. But the focus shifted to exporting horses about a decade ago, said Dr. Netia Abercrombie, a veterinary medical officer with the USDA.

Cattle began coming through the export facility again about a year ago, and last month’s flight marked the fifth cattle shipment in the past year to go through the site. In general, animals pass through the export facility two to three times a week.

But only certain cattle are worth first-class tickets.

“They have to be really expensive, high-dollar breeding stock,” Anderson said. “Meaning they’re going to be some really special bulls or cows.”

The exported Brahmans are a good fit for Vietnam because they’re a resilient breed that does well in hot, humid weather.

“They truly thrive where it’s harsh,” said William Bunce, executive vice president of the American Brahman Breeders Association.

Muskus will spend four days working with his counterparts in Vietnam. He’ll make sure the bulls are settled, check on the bulls his ranch previously sent and make suggestions that could improve the program.

Gordon Thornhill, general manager for T.K. Exports, which specializes in livestock, said Muskus will be able to teach them some tricks of the trade.

“You have an opportunity to take what you’ve learned and share it with somebody else,” he said.


Information from: Houston Chronicle,

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

LIVESTOCK-Cattle futures surge to contract highs on higher cash … – Reuters

    By Michael Hirtzer
    CHICAGO, Oct 30 (Reuters) - U.S. live cattle         and
feeder cattle futures contracts         surged to lifetime peaks
on Monday, boosted by unexpectedly high-priced sales in cash
cattle markets that occurred after the futures close on Friday,
traders said.
    Cattle futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange surpassed
Friday's highs when trade resumed on Monday and some contracts
briefly rose by their daily price limits, before finishing
slightly below those levels.
    "We expected a gap higher and we got it," said Zaner Ag
Hedge broker Tim Hackbarth.
    Most-active CME December live cattle        settled 2.575
cents higher at 123.400 cents per pound, off their earlier
life-of-contract high 123.825 cents. The October contract
      , which has no price limit ahead of its expiration on
Tuesday, climbed 4.200 cents to 119.575 cents.
    The futures gains came after cattle at U.S. Plains feedlots
sold between $116 to $119 per cwt on Friday, deals that were up
$6 to $9 per higher than the previous week.
    Beef packers were buying aggressively to satisfy expanding
seasonal consumer demand ahead of the holidays and to take
advantage of big packer profit margins that were linked to
rising wholesale beef prices.
    Choice-grade beef prices were up 2 cents to $203.32 per cwt,
highest in more than two months, according to U.S. Department of
Agriculture data.           
   Cattle futures were trading at a premium to the cash market
on expectations that beef packer demand will remain robust,
Hackbarth said.
   "There's certainly really good movement of beef," he said.
   CME January feeder cattle futures        settled up 1.400
cents at 157.350 cents per pound after earlier reaching 159.825
cents per pound.
   Cash feeder steer and heifers fetched prices up as much as $9
per cwt at a closely watched auction in Oklahoma City, USDA
   CME lean hog futures         were higher, tracking gains in
cattle prices amid support from technical buying after hogs fell
on Friday. CME December lean hog futures        settled up 0.725
cent at 65.175 cents per pound.
   Hogs in the top cash market of Iowa and southern Minnesota
were up $1.23 to $64.91 per cwt and wholesale pork up $1.32 to
$78.88 per cwt, according to the USDA.                    

 (Reporting by Michael Hirtzer; Editing by Andrew Hay)
Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture students roundup range cattle on horseback – Scottsbluff Star Herald

#ndn-video-player-1.ndn_embedded .ndn_floatContainer margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 20px;

#ndn-video-player-2.ndn_embedded .ndn_floatContainer margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 20px;

OSHKOSH — Five riders parked a truck and trailer early Saturday morning at the side of a narrow oil road through the Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

They toiled with fencing tools and baling wire in a brisk autumn wind, assembling a temporary corral and loading chute, then set off on horseback across two miles of remote refuge prairie that few visitors ever see. Their destination was the Graves Ranch, owned by the Nature Conservancy. Their mission was to round up 21 head of cattle from their summer range and drive them back to the corral. Their long day ended with a 160-mile trip home to Curtis, about 43 miles south of North Platte on the highway to McCook.

The roundup was a field trip with a purpose for four students of the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture and their supervisor.

At the 840-acre ranch, a tarnished windmill spins and creaks, still drawing water 34 years after the conservancy bought the property in Garden County. Surrounded by broken water pipe and failing fences, a ramshackle cabin remains, abraded by decades of blowing sand and loosened from its foundation by the muscular bodies of Angus cattle that crowd against it for relief from prairie wind and harsh Nebraska winters. The conservancy’s interest in the ranch lies in thousands of flowering prairie plants that thrive in pockets of sand known as blowouts, where the thin veneer of vegetation has peeled away from the underlying dunes. Known as blowout penstemon, the endangered plant was once thought to be nearly extinct. The conservancy acquired the land as a refuge where the delicate perennial, which requires bare sand to thrive, might maintain a sustainable, naturally producing population.

Part of the effort requires grazing. Cattle take the place of ancient bison herds that helped the penstemon evolve by exposing blowouts to winds that sustain the desired habitat. NCTA, part of the University of Nebraska family of campuses, provides the cattle, both as an aid to the conservancy and as a teaching tool for students in its veterinary, ranching and equestrian programs.

“The college leases the pasture for a nominal fee and pays the taxes on it,” said Mary Crawford, who works for the NCTA in marketing and recruiting. “We consider this one of our field laboratories.”

In spring and fall, students help move the cattle on and off the property as part of a range management plan.

“You need grazing to help the pastures,” Crawford said. “There are different strategies for grazing when you have the endangered species, as far as carrying capacity. There is a real defined plan on when you can get on the grass and get off the grass.”

While the college’s cattle don’t graze federal pastures, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff allows students to cross its protected property on horseback to collect the grazers and drive them back to the loading area. They’re supervised by Roy Cole, a Curtis native who serves as the college’s farm manager. He handles college ag properties, which include a 580-acre farm, field laboratory and pastures near campus. Students learn to operate farm equipment and machinery, build and repair fences and corrals and study animal husbandry as they tend livestock. Cole works the Graves Ranch project with Douglas Smith, associate professor and chair of animal science and agricultural education and coach of the NCTA Livestock Judging Team, and Brad Ramsdale, associate professor and chair of agronomy and agricultural mechanics.

Because of the distance from the refuge to the campus, students spent Friday night at the refuge’s bunk houses and were allow to pasture their horses and use other refuge facilities to ease their travel to the isolated ranch. After a truck arrived to carry away the cattle, they still had to break down the corral sections and tend to their mounts.

Two of the students on the cattle drive, KeAnn Jacobs of Dresden, Kansas, and Frances Holley of Weston, Nebraska, both veterinary technology students, also work for Cole. The other two, Garrison Fisher of Beaver City, Nebraska, and Damian Wellman of Almena, Kansas, major in livestock management and are members of NCTA’s Ranch Horse Team. Like many of their fellow NCTA students, they’re experienced hands who come from a farm and ranch background.

“We’re not frou-frou show people,” Wellman said of the horse team, which studies equine care, nutrition and riding skills. “We’re people who know how to work a horse.”

Subscribe to the Star-Herald

Introductory Offer

Get All Access for only $5.50 for the first three months. That’s print, e-edition and website for only $115.95 a year!

Want just Digital Access? Get it today for only 99 cents a week!

Call 308-632-9010 or email to get started.

#ndn-video-player-3.ndn_embedded .ndn_floatContainer margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 20px;

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

I-20 West at "Dead Man's Curve" back open following cattle truck wreck – WVTM13

UPDATE, 1:00 a.m., Thursday

Interstate 20 west at I-59 South is back open Thursday morning following a crash Wednesday afternoon involving an overturned cattle truck.


UPDATE, 9:45 p.m., Wednesday

Interstate 20 West at I-59 South is still shut down after an afternoon cattle truck crash.

An overturned cattle truck has shut down Interstate 20 West at the I-59 South interchange, better known as “Dead Man’s Curve,” in Birmingham.

Fire officials say the driver of the truck was taken to the hospital with injuries that appeared to be minor.

Several cows were killed in the crash. Animal control has been called to the scene to help secure the livestock.

“The Cowboys” from Jemison are helping remove the cattle from the interstate.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

Man uses cattle prod to rob Fort Pierce gas station – Local 10

FORT PIERCE, Fla. – A 21-year-old man used a cattle prod to rob a Fort Pierce gas station in order to get money to see his son, city police said. 

Middleton Henderson walked into a Citgo gas station at about 10:19 a.m. in the 4100 block of Okeechobee Road and asked the victim for a bathroom key, police said. When he was told that the bathroom was out of order, Henderson left the store and loitered outside for an extended time. 

He then walked back into the store with a cattle prod in his hand and shocked the victim with it, police said. He then jumped over the counter and took money from a drawer before punching and kicking the victim. 

Henderson left the prod on the floor as he left the store, and the victim, who had injuries to his eyes, hands and body, called police. 

Shortly after the incident, an officer spotted a man matching Henderson’s description inside an abandoned house in the 2300 block of South 29th Street.

Henderson was taken into custody shortly thereafter, and police found a large sum on money in his right back pocket, police said. 

After being read his rights, Henderson agreed to speak to police. 

When asked why he was arrested, Henderson said, “Armed robbery, I’m guessing,” according to an arrest report. 

He then said that he hadn’t seen his son in weeks and thought that if he could get some money then he would be able to see him, the report said. Henderson went on to say that he recently lost his house, car and job and had been homeless. 

Henderson told police that he waited a while before going inside the store with the cattle prod and that his plan was to shock the clerk and stun him — leaving him with enough time to grab the money and go, the report said. 

Things didn’t go Henderson’s way when the clerk fought back, according to the report, and that’s what caused Henderson to take the money and run. 

Henderson was arrested on charges of robbery with a weapon and aggravated battery causing bodily harm. 

Copyright 2017 by WPLG – All rights reserved.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

AG CORNER: Understanding feeder cattle price slides – Stillwater News Press

Feeder cattle prices depend on the weight of the cattle with lightweight cattle typically having the highest price per pound (or hundredweight) and lower prices for heavier cattle. Not only do prices vary across cattle weights but the size of the price adjustment depends on the weight of the cattle.

Price slides are a measure of the amount of price adjustment as weight changes from a base weight.

Price slides have a number of uses, the most common of which is adjusting the price of forward contracted cattle if actual weight is different from the specified base weight.

Price slides are also useful for producers to evaluate price changes for the weight gain of calves in a preconditioning or short backgrounding program or perhaps the additional weight from creep feeding calves. Prices slides are often stated in terms of traditional rules of thumb, e.g. a 10 cent slide on calves or a 6 cent slide on yearlings.

The price volatility of recent years has shown that these rules of thumb using absolute levels are inadequate to accurately capture price adjustments over a wide range of price levels.

Price slides depend on the price level and thus are more accurately stated as a percent of the base price. Table 1 shows annual average and monthly average price slides for selected weights of steers and heifers. It is apparent that price slides are not only different for different weights but also vary for steers and heifers and at different times of the year. As an example of how to use these price slides, suppose the base price of 575-pound steers is $150/cwt.

The annual average price slide is 6.7 percent, which results in a price adjustment of $10.05/cwt. If the steer actually weighs 30 pounds more or 605 pounds, the price would be adjusted down by $3.02/cwt ($10.05 x 0.3 cwt.) to $146.98 ($150-$3.02). In this example, the price slide is close to the traditional 10-cent slide.

However, while the percent price slide is constant, the absolute price adjustment depends on price level. Thus, the 575-pound steer would have a price slide of $8.04/cwt. if market price was $1.20/cwt. or $12.06/cwt if the market price was $180/cwt.

It is evident from Table 1 that the percent price slide for heifers is generally lower compared to steers for the lighter weights but is roughly equal to the steer price slide for heavy feeders. It is also apparent that price slides for both steers and heifers vary across months.

Price adjustments can be fine-tuned using the monthly average price slides. In general, price slides are relatively constant across months for light weight calves and for the heavy feeders.

Price slides in the middle feeder weights (575-725 pounds for steers, 550-700 pounds for heifers) have wide variation across months. For example, 675-pound steers have an annual average price slide of 4.0 percent, which varies from 8.2 percent in March to essentially zero in October.

Price slides expressed in percentages adjust automatically and appropriately to changing market prices. Understanding price slides can help producers improve cattle marketing and evaluate feeder cattle production alternatives. 

Poor temperament adversely affects profit

October is a traditional weaning and culling time for spring-calving herds. Weaning for value-added calf sales is already underway. This is a time when producers decide which cows no longer are helpful to the operation and which heifer calves will be kept for future replacements. Selecting against ill-tempered cattle has always made good sense. Wild cattle are hard on equipment, people, other cattle, and now we know that they are hard on the bottom line.

Mississippi State University researchers (Vann and co-workers. 2006. Southern Section of American Society of Animal Science) used a total of 210 feeder cattle consigned by 19 producers in a “Farm to Feedlot” program to evaluate the effect of temperament on performance, carcass characteristics, and net profit.

Temperament was scored on a 1 to 5 scale (1=nonaggressive, docile; 5=very aggressive, excitable). Three measurements were used: pen score, chute score, and exit velocity. Measurements were taken on the day of shipment to the feedlot.

Exit velocity is an evaluation of temperament that is made electronically by measuring the speed at which the animal leaves the confinement of the chute. Exit velocity and pen scores were highly correlated. As pen scores increased, so did exit velocity. As pen score and exit velocity increased, health treatments costs and number of days treated increased, while average daily gain and final body weight decreased. This outcome makes perfect sense. Other studies have shown that excitable temperament can diminish immune responsiveness, with more temperamental calves having a reduced response to vaccination compared to calm calves.

In the Mississippi study, as pen temperament score increased, net profit per head tended to decline. Pen temperament scores and net profits per head were as follows: 1=$121.89; 2=$100.98; 3=$107.18; 4=$83.75; 5=$80.81. Although feed and cattle price relationships have changed since this data was collected, one would expect similar impacts from the temperaments of cattle under today’s economic situation.

“Heritability” is the portion of the differences in a trait that can be attributed to genetics. The heritability of temperament in beef cattle has been estimated to range from 0.36 to 0.45. This moderate level of heritability indicates that real progress can be made by selecting against wild cattle. Whether we are marketing our calf crop at weaning or retaining ownership throughout the feedlot phase, wild, excitable cattle are expensive.

Payne County Extension Educators Nathan Anderson, Dea Rash, Suzette Barta, Keith Reed and Summer Riggins contributed to this report.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

Cattle Hit 1-month High Ahead of USDA Data, Hogs Extend Losses –

U.S. live cattle futures jumped to the highest levels in over a month on Friday, lifted by technical buying and expectations for bullish government supply data that was due after the close of trading.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Cattle and Feed report, however, was deemed bearish by analysts, and that could pressure futures come Monday.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange October live cattle rose 1.475 cents to 111.575 cents per pound while the most-active December contract was up 1.225 cents to 117.425 cents.

CME October feeder cattle were up 0.225 cent to 156.100 cents per pound.

The trading session finished less than an hour before the USDA said ranchers placed 1.93 million cattle in U.S. feedlots in August. That was an 3 percent increase over August 2016, when analysts had predicted a decrease of nearly 3 percent.

“It’s a negative report … and most negative for the February and April time slots,” said U.S. Commodities analyst Don Roose, adding that futures could open on Monday 0.500 to 1.000 cent lower.

In a separate monthly cold storage report, USDA said 476.26 million pounds of beef were in storage as of Aug. 31. That is up from 431.84 million pounds at the end of July and topped estimates from a few analysts for 426.5 million pounds.

Pork in cold storage totaled 575.681 million pounds, up from 554.854 million pounds at the end of July and was just above estimates for 573.5 million pounds.

CME lean hog futures extended their decline under pressure from abundant U.S. supplies and weakening wholesale pork prices amid record-high slaughter rates.

Front-month CME October hogs sank to a lifetime low for the second straight session, finishing 1.625 cents lower at 55.700 cents per pound. Most-active December hogs were down 1.175 cents at 56.625 cents per pound.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

Tulia cattle auction report – High Plains Journal

The Tulia Livestock Auction, Inc., Tulia, Texas, reported receipts of 2,420 head on Sept. 14, compared to 1,311 head last week and 1,091 head last year, according to the USDA Market News Service, Amarillo, Texas.

Compared to a week ago, the feeder steers and heifers were firm to $5 higher. The trade was active on good demand. Summer-like temperatures returned to the Panhandle. Recently planted wheat pastures are in much need of a rain. The slaughter cows and bulls were steady to $2 lower. The slaughter cows and bulls made up 1% of the sale, 0% were replacements and 99% were feeders. The feeder supply consisted of 68% steers and bulls and 32% was heifers. Nearly 87% of the run weighed over 600 pounds.

Steers: Medium and large frame 1, 300 to 400 lbs., 182.00 to 206.00; 400 to 500 lbs., 168.00 to 172.00; 500 to 550 lbs., 150.00 to 157.50; 600 to 650 lbs., 155.00 to 156.00, 600 to 700 lbs., calves 141.00; load 720 lbs., 158.25, lot 715 lbs., fancy 161.00, 700 to 750 lb. calves 135.00 to 143.00; 750 to 800 lbs., 146.50 to 153.50, load 758 lb. calves 143.50; load 803 lbs., 153.75, 800 to 850 lbs., full 138.00 to 140.00; 850 to 900 lbs., 143.00 to 144.50; 900 to 1000 lbs., 130.00 to 138.50. Medium and large frame 1 to 2, few 426 lbs., 169.00; 500 to 600 lbs., 153.50 to 158.00; 650 to 700 lbs., 145.00 to 148.50; lot 710 lbs., 156.00, lot 715 lb. calves 137.50, lot 727 lbs., fleshy 125.00; 750 to 800 lbs., 148.50 to 151.50; 800 to 850 lbs., 143.00 to 144.50; lot 990 lbs., 133.50; lot 1005 lbs., 119.00. Medium and large frame 2, few 463 lbs., 145.00.

Feeder bulls: Medium and large frame 1, few 425 lbs., 169.00; 500 to 600 lbs., 132.00 to 145.50; few 606 lbs., 128.50.

Heifers: Medium and large frame 1, 300 to 400 lbs., 155.00 to 165.00; 450 to 500 lbs., 140.00 to 151.50; 500 to 600 lbs., 133.00 to 142.00; 600 to 700 lbs., 145.00 to 149.50, calves 125.00 to 132.50; 700 to 800 lbs., 136.50 to 140.50, calves 131.00, fleshy 120.00; lot 802 lbs., 133.50; 900 to 1000 lbs., full 114.00 to 118.50. Medium and large frame 1 to 2, few 519 lbs., 138.50; 600 to 700 lbs., 140.00 to 148.00; load 762 lbs., 138.00; lot 829 lbs., 134.00; lot 932 lbs., full 107.00. Medium and large frame 2, few 419 lbs., 135.00.

Slaughter cows: Breaking, 75 to 80% lean, 1400 to 1800 lbs., 55.00 to 56.00. Boning, 80 to 85% lean, 1000 to 1400 lbs., 60.00 to 63.00; low dressing, 57.50. Lean, 85 to 90% lean, 800 to 1200 lbs., 60.00 to 62.50; low dressing, 55.00 to 58.50.

Slaughter bulls: Yield grade 1 to 2, individual 1990 lbs., 80.00; low dressing, 1320 to 1610 lbs., 72.50 to 75.00.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

Feature: Malawi tribe bemoans lost glory of cattle rearing – Xinhua

Video PlayerClose

by Gloria Nazombe

LUSAKA, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) — Rearing cattle amongst the Ngoni people in Malawi, once a pride custom, is prone to extinction.

As per custom, a Ngoni man’s riches and power is determined by how many cattle he has unlike other tribes and culture where houses, money and cars are the determinants of success.

According to the tradition which dates back from the 19th century, the Ngoni people always brought home cattle from every tribe they conquered. It is believed that they are warriors and the cattle symbolized their power.

Inkosi ya Makosi (King of kings) Mbelwa IV is one of the dignified Ngoni chiefs from Malawi.

“Milk and meat is a symbol of prosperity. Cattle provide the best and large quantity of milk and meat. Therefore, if one has cattle and a number of them for that matter it only implies one thing, the man is filthy rich,” the traditional leader said.

According to him, an Ngoni man with a head of cattle signifies what a great warrior he is and that it is easy for such a man to attract women.

According to Ngoni tradition, during coronation, the would-be-chief is anointed with a bull’s bile on his forefront, a move that symbolizes power descending to his whole body from the ancestors.

The same is done when he dies and it shows that the spirit is still powerful and will also be transferred to the next king.

According to one Ngoni woman, Mandlase Jere from Edingeni in Mzimba district, an area where the Ngoni people are highly concentrated, Ngoni women like powerful men. “Any man who brought cattle home from war gave us hope for our safety. So we flock to such a man,” Jere said.

She added that it was a source of pride for women when their men give cattle as dowry to the woman’s family unlike other cultures where a woman is exchanged with a chicken. She says this shows how significant and worthy an Ngoni woman is.

However, over the years, the custom has gradually degraded.

“Indeed many Ngonis nowadays don’t have kraals in their homes especially in town except for the chief. This is because most of them have realized that money could buy a cow within the shortest time especially in this civilized era,” said Ndabazake Aupson Thole, the tribe’s historian.

“However you will notice that at any big Ngoni function, a cow is slaughtered and we continue to bury our chiefs in a cattle skin and cover any Ngoni’s coffin in the grave with a cattle skin. This means that our cattle are hidden in a monetary form,” he added.

Meanwhile, Thole has said that due to the seemingly extinction of the cattle rearing custom which has mainly been caused by lack of land for grazing, an alternative solution to revamp the culture is yet to be implemented.

“Cattle rearing is a serious business and it needs dedication. It needs herd boys, most of whom are now in school,” he said.

The other reason is that there is no grazing spaces in town where most of the Ngoni people have settled.

But he noted that plans are underway to improve the system of keeping cattle through paddock grazing.

“This will increase our cattle rearing again,” Thole said.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link