Culture and Animal Husbandry: An investigation into the traditional methods and cultural constraints of goat production and management among the people of the Muhanga District of Rwanda
Hydock, Kira Lynn
Area of Honors:
African and African American Studies
Bachelor of Science
Clemente K. Abrokwaa, Thesis Supervisor Kevin J.A. Thomas, Honors Advisor Robert John Vansaun, Honors Advisor
Goat production Muhanga District Rwanda Animal husbandry
The purpose of this study was to analyze effects of culture on goat production and management in Rwanda. Because the goat serves significant cultural, social, and economic functions in Rwanda, this study aimed to generate methods consisting of traditional and modern approaches to maximize goat production. To this end, a brief review of animal husbandry of the goat, followed by a literature review on the goat in Rwanda is included. First-hand cultural perspectives were collected by the author during two trips to Rwanda, at which time goat herders were interviewed. This work culminated in a list of conclusions and recommendations for goat production in Rwanda. In general, there are many constraints facing Rwandan goat herders stemming from previous ethnic conflict, climate change, failure of knowledge dissemination, and lack of financial capital, especially for women. Improved goat production can be achieved through investment in medications and feeds designed for small ruminants, such as goats, more effective knowledge dissemination, gender equality in agriculture, and increased availability of veterinary services. It is hoped that the Rwandan government and others involved will be able to utilize the recommendations presented at the end of this report.