To provide dairy products at a fair price and stabilize the market, 660 cattle were imported from Germany at the end of 2017 and placed at the newly established Halhale Dairy Farm, Southern region, which is around 550 hectares.
As Mr. Tekle, the manager of the farm puts it, “After they were imported, the animals had trouble adjusting but it was never expected of them to do so. Most of the cows were pregnant and they delivered as soon as they got here. The fact that the newborns were then born into the local reality helped them to adapt to the local climate instantly”.
Their nutrition is based on organic fiber grass and alpha alpha. This contributes to the quality and novelty of the milk. There are separate sections for calves, heifers, and bulls. Moreover, there is a section for those whose mating time is due and those that have mated a designated section for prenatal and antenatal care. The waste is then collected and used as manure for the same land from which the feed is harvested.
Far from the cattle’s habitat is a construction site where a milk processing plant is being established. So far, the milk is used as food for the newborns and sent to Elabered Estate in Anseba Zone and processed to butter and milk. The new building is to be equipped with machinery that can process the milk to the last byproduct.
Halhale was chosen to serve as a dairy farm for many reasons. It has a very suitable climate and fertile land and is strategically located. It is surrounded by two dams, Gergera and Tekera. Gergera dam, which can hold more than 350 million cubic meters of water, can be relied on for cattle ranching. The dam was built as part of the national strategy anchored on the construction of dams, which are built through Eritreans’ labor and intellect, to ensure sustainable development. Another reason Halhale was chosen for the dairy farm is its access to the electric power supply as it is located on the strategic Asmara—Mendefera road which is within the national power grid.
The construction of Gergera dam, also known as Misilam dam, was completed in 2014 and now serves as a big source of clean water to communities in forty-five villages and three towns in the Southern region. The availability of abundant water in both dams, Gergera and Tekera, has made Halhale ideal for dairy farms.
The number of cattle at Halhale has been increasing and the plan is to use Halhale as a base to set up similar dairy farms in many parts of the country to be able to dramatically increase the number of dairy products and meat that people can buy at fair prices.
Halhale Dairy Farm has opened job opportunities for communities who live in nearby villages and for college graduates, allowing them to get experience. They say they are determined to make up for the lost opportunities by working hard to improve people’s standard of living, and that they will never stop being better and making more.
The future plans of Halhale Dairy Farm are quite solid. It is to expand to suitable areas in the south and central region of Eritrea as full dairy production and processing farm. So as to eliminate hunger and ensure food security through similar investments that align with environmental safety regulations.