Sahiwal cattle, the pride of the Subcontinent.

In the middle of a conversation about shrinking pasture in the Masai Mara National Reserve, human-animal conflict and changes in life style, James Vetingio, 38, a pastoralist in the reserve, became perplexed after getting to know that the Sahiwal cattle breed has its origins in the Indian Subcontinent.

“Sahiwal is our lifeline. It has changed life of the whole of Masai Mara,” he beamed at me while the others smiled.

I was sitting along with pastoralists among thousands of cows, mostly hybrid Sahiwal. Smoke was billowing out from hearths where milk was being heated and bread being prepared from cornmeal.

All pastoralists were surprised with the information about the Sahiwal. Apparently, the breed has adapted so well to Kenya, they never realised it was ‘foreign’.

“Our herds have 40 per cent pure Sahiwal and 40 per cent is hybrid Sahiwal. The rest of them are native,” said Saimon Liaran, 62, another pastoralist, who has a herd of around 300 cows. He sells around 50 litres of milk every day.

The Sahiwal migrated to Kenya around 80 years ago from the Subcontinent and is now considered as the backbone of the country’s milk production.

The breed is the main source of earning for many dairy farmers and is also helping adaption in the face of climate change.

Leave a Reply

Shopping cart


No products in the cart.

Continue Shopping