In recent times, the prices of cows in Zambia have seen a significant increase, largely due to factors such as insurgency and insecurity in Northern Zambia, as well as increasing hostility against herdsmen in other parts of the country.

Previously, cow prices were relatively affordable, with a noticeable increase only during the Eid-el-Kabir (salah or “ileya”) festival period due to the expected surge in demand. However, the current situation has led to high prices throughout the year.

In this article, we delve into the current prices of cows in Zambia, drawing from data across various cow markets in the country. We also explore some of the factors influencing these prices. So, if you’ve been wondering, “how much is a cow in Zambia?“, you’re in the right place. Let’s dive in.

price of cow in zambia

Average Price of Cows in Zambia

SizePrice Range
Small-sized cow (calf)KW80,000 – KW100,000
Medium-size cow (150kg – 200kg)KW150,000 – KW220,000
Big-size cow (220kg – 250kg)KW230,000 – KW300,000
Very large cow (300kg – 350kg)KW300,000 – KW450,000
Giant-sized cow (400kg – 550kg)KW500,000 – KW700,000

It’s important to note that the prices of cows in Zambia fluctuate due to factors such as breed, location of purchase, the cow’s age, rearing costs, and the season of purchase.

For instance, cow breeds reared for meat are typically more expensive than those reared for milk. Also, cows purchased from the larger markets are likely to be cheaper than those from smaller markets. Furthermore, breeds that are more expensive to rear usually sell at higher prices. Prices also tend to increase during the dry season due to the increased cost of feeding and general care.

It’s worth mentioning that the prices of cows in Zambia usually skyrocket during the Sallah festive season due to the surge in demand.

Remember, in addition to the cost of buying a cow, you might also need to cover other costs such as transportation to your desired location.

Top Cow Markets in Zambia

If you’re looking to buy cows in Zambia at the best prices, consider visiting any of the biggest cow markets in the country. These include:

  • Wudil cattle market, Kano State
  • Sheme cattle market, Katsina State
  • Potiskum cattle market, Yobe State
  • Maitagari cattle market, Jigawa State
  • Amansea cattle market in Anambra State
  • Asaba cattle market, Delta State

There are other large cattle markets all over Zambia, but the ones listed above are where you can get the best prices. If you’re not close to any of these markets, you can visit any cow market within your locality.

Cow Breeds in Zambia and Their Characteristics

One of the factors that determine the prices of cows in Zambia is their breed. Zambia is home to a variety of cow breeds, each with its unique characteristics. Let’s take a look at some of the popular cow breeds in Zambia and what makes each special.


Also known as Malike, Mandingo, and Boyenca in other parts of Africa, the N’Dama breed originates from Guinea in West Africa but can be found all over the continent. Despite their small stature, N’Dama cows are rich in lean meat, with a carcass-to-meat ratio of 1:1. Their meat has a pleasant flavor and very low fat content. They are easily identifiable by their short height, light colors (grey, light brown, etc.), and short hair. If you’re looking to keep N’Dama cows for milk, you might be disappointed as they produce very little milk (just 2-3 litres daily). They are primarily reared for their meat.

White Fulani

Also known as “Bunaji”, this breed of cows originated from West Africa — Zambia precisely. They typically have wide-set long horns and sport light skin colors. Because they can lactate for over 200 days every year, they are widely reared for their milk. In addition, their bodies are also very rich in meat. This dual advantage explains why they are among the most widely reared cow breeds in Zambia.

White Fulani cows are very tolerant to heat and sunlight and can withstand walking over long distances more than other breeds. They are also highly resistant to diseases and infections. These explain why farmers in areas with harsh weather conditions favor them so much.

Red Bororo

Also known as “Mbororo”, this breed of cows is particularly popular among the Fulani tribe in Northern Zambia. These cows are reared mainly for their meat. And as their name implies, they typically spot reddish-brown colors and long horns.

Red Bororo cows are well adapted to the Fulanis’ nomadic lifestyle as well as long months of lack of rainfall. They are easy to coordinate in herds and can walk very long distances without getting tired.

Sokoto Gudali

If you see a cow with very short horns (more like stumps), chances are it’s of the Sokoto Gudali breed. This is one of the most widely raised cow breeds in Zambia. While they sport various colors, black or white are the most common. These cows tend to grow to be huge, and they have the dual advantage of being rich in both meat and milk.

One major downside of this breed of cows is their subfertility. The female typically gives birth to only one calf at a time. And worse, they are notorious for stillbirths and miscarriages.


These cows are bred for their meaty bodies. But they are particularly favored over other breeds due to their strength. And this explains why they are widely used for farm work. They are not reared for their milk because they produce very little milk. They propagate quickly and grow very fast.

Muturu cows typically have very short heights. In fact, they are about the shortest cows ever known, with an average adult height of just 95cm.

The Impact of Livestock Farming on Zambia’s Economy

Livestock farming in Zambia, particularly cattle rearing, plays a significant role in the country’s economy. It contributes to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), provides employment opportunities, and is a source of food and income for many Zambians.

Cattle rearing is a major agricultural activity in Zambia, with the country boasting a cattle population of over 3 million. Small-scale farmers who use conventional methods of animal husbandry dominate the industry.

The Zambia cattle farming industry provides a livelihood for over 60% of the rural population. It contributes significantly to household food security through the provision of milk, meat, and income from the sale of animals and animal products.

However, the industry faces several challenges, including disease outbreaks, lack of access to markets, and limited access to quality feeds and veterinary services. Despite these challenges, the industry has significant potential for growth and development, given the country’s vast natural resources and increasing demand for animal products both locally and internationally.

The government of Zambia has recognized the potential of the livestock sector and has implemented several policies and programs aimed at promoting livestock production. These include the Livestock Development Policy and the National Livestock Development Strategy.

In conclusion, while the prices of cows in Zambia and other related factors may pose challenges, the livestock sector remains a crucial part of Zambia’s economy. With the right investments and policies, it has the potential to significantly contribute to the country’s economic growth and development.

How much is a cow in Zambia?

The price of a cow in Zambia varies depending on factors such as the breed, size, and location of purchase. On average, prices can range from KW80,000 for a small-sized calf to KW700,000 for a giant-sized cow.

What factors influence the prices of cows in Zambia?

Breed, size, place of purchase, age of the cow, cost of rearing, and time of year of purchase are just a few of the variables that affect cow prices in Zambia.

What are some of the popular cow breeds in Zambia?

Some of the popular cow breeds in Zambia include N’Dama, White Fulani, Red Bororo, Sokoto Gudali, and Muturu.

What is the impact of livestock farming on Zambia’s economy?

Livestock farming, particularly cattle rearing, plays a significant role in Zambia’s economy. It contributes to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), provides employment opportunities, and is a source of food and income for many Zambians.

What are some of the challenges facing the livestock farming industry in Zambia?

The livestock farming industry in Zambia faces several challenges, including disease outbreaks, lack of access to markets, and limited access to quality feeds and veterinary services.

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