Workers put final touches on the new high-capacity feeds mill at the upgraded Kasolwe stock farm in Bugabula County, Kamuli District recently. PHOTO/PHILP WAFULA
The livestock industry is fundamental to Uganda’s economy. The sector contributes 13.1 per cent of the agricultural gross domestic product (GDP) and 5 per cent of the national GDP.
The importance of livestock is set to rise further, as growing incomes lead to higher meat consumption. For example, the 2020 annual agricultural survey by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), indicates that demand for beef in Uganda is expected to increase by more than 150 per cent between 2020 and 2040.
Production of meat products is predominantly through smallholder farmers, who own 90 per cent of livestock in the country.
The UBOS survey further shows that in Busoga Sub-region, the livestock sector provides 15 per cent of employment opportunities and 23 per cent of family income and security.
However, a combination of irregular weather patterns, poor agricultural methods and lack of modern technology has left the sub-region playing catch-up with other parts of the country.
New lease of life
However, all that is set to change if the recently upgraded Kasolwe stock farm fulfils its mandate.
During a recent visit to the farm in Balawoli Sub-county, Kamuli District, there were significant changes at the place that had been written off.
For instance, a spray race with a loading ramp has been constructed to act as the modern disease control unit to fight tick-borne diseases.
The holding ground will be able to hold at least 150 animals and be used for practical illustration to farmers on how to mix and apply acaricides.
John Muwanga, a farmer in the area, says the spray race will greatly help in treating cows in the community since many smallholder farmers couldn’t afford hiring veterinary doctors.
“Hiring a veterinary doctor is very expensive, but we now have an opportunity to bring all our cows here for treatment,” he says.
Authorities say the newly-installed cattle sheds with calf pens and milking parlours will have the capacity to hold 150 cattle.
This undertaking will be used to teach farmers modern dairy practices, and be a model for replicating similar structures using locally available materials. The structure will also be a central dissemination point for dairy cattle genetics to the entire sub-region.
Furthermore, the high-capacity hay barn will hold 35,000 bales of hay. The structure will also aid in training farmers on how to make and store hay.
The most innovative technology at the site is the new high-capacity feeds mill, which will have the ability to produce 10,000kg of feeds per day.
This undertaking will enable the surrounding community in Bugabula County to be out growers of ingredients such as maize, soya bean and millet, among others, that will be mixed in recommended ratios to produce animal feeds nationally.
All this effort is part of the National Animal Genetic Resources Centre and Data Bank (NAGRC&DB) to improve livestock production, productivity and marketing in Busoga sub-region.
NAGRC&DB is partnering with Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) programme to transform agriculture from a subsistence sector into a commercial industry in line with the National Development Plan III.
Dr Peter Beine, the NAGRC&DB executive director, says the livestock sub-sector is a significant player in our economy, which must be enhanced to create more wealth and jobs for people.
“A time has come for us to adapt our cultures to the needs of today. We must embrace new technologies in order to upscale our farming for quality production, if we are to survive and compete in the global market.”
About the farm
It is one of the national ranches established in 1965 to conserve the indigenous short-horned Zebu cattle. Initially, the farm was for citrus, which failed due to insufficient water for irrigation.
After an evaluation, the citrus farm was shifted to Kiige near the shores of Lake Kyoga, thus paving the way for establishment of Kasolwe Stock Farm.
The farm occupies 2,000 hectares of land and lies within the cattle corridor that stretches from Mbarara, Masaka, Nakasongola, Kayunga, Kamuli, Teso, and Karamoja.
Currently, the farm has 986 head of cattle, of which 64 are crosses of Jersey and Friesians, 922 short-horned Zebu and 740 small East Africa goats.
Govt to import 10 million vaccines to control cattle disease
Entebbe, Uganda. Government is set to import 10 million doses of vaccines to enable scaling up of ring vaccination as the fight to eradicate Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in Ugandan cattle enters a new phase.
Cabinet chaired by President Yoweri Museveni on Monday also proposed that once ring vaccination is complete, farmers start paying for the FMD vaccines in a compulsory vaccination scheme, and thereafter, trade in animal products, will be restricted to those adhering to the plan.
Minister of Agriculture, Animal industry and Fishers Frank Tumwebazwe on Monday shared the resolutions after Cabinet laid out strategies to contain the disease that has hit 36 districts.
Cabinet agreed to create a revolving fund to enable procurement of sufficient FMD vaccines to facilitate compulsory bi-annual vaccination of the susceptible domestic animal population. It also approved a plan for farmers to pay for the vaccines while government covers other costs.
“Vaccination is to be made compulsory. Proof of vaccination will be a precondition for any farmer to sell any animal products,” said Minister Tumwebazwe.
“I appeal to fellow livestock farmers and stakeholders to understand and appreciate these effort as we steadily move to eradicate FMD in Uganda just like other animal diesases like rinderpest wre eradicated.”
The 36 districts currently affected and under quarantine are Budaka, Bukedea, Bukomansimbi, Bunyangabu, Butaleja, Fortportal City, Gomba, Ibanda, Isingiro, Kabarole, Kasanda, Kayunga, Kazo, Kiboga, Kibuku, Kiruhura, Kumi, Kyankwanzi, Kyegegwa, Kyotera, Luuka, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Mbarara, Mbarara City, Mityana, Mpigi, Mubende, Nakaseke, Nakasongola, Namisindwa, Ngora, Ntungamo, Rakai, Rwampara and Sembabule.
All districts neighboring the affected districts are at high risk, under strict surveillance, and the authorities have been advised to remain vigilant.
These include Apac, Amolatar, Bugiri, Bushenyi, Butaleja, Hoima, Iganga, Jinja, Kabale, Kaberamaido, Kaliro, Kamuli, Kamwenge, Katakwi, Kasese, Kibaale, Kiboga, Kyenjojo, Mbale, Masindi, Mayuge, Mukono, Namalemba, Nakapiripirit,
Palisa, Rukungiri, Sironko, Wakiso and Soroti.
Tumwebaze assured farmers that in the next one or two months, his Ministry expects to receive and dispatch 2.3 million doses of the FMD vaccine to the affected and susceptible districts for ring vaccination scale-up.
He told parliament earlier that as a way of increasing availability of Foot and Mouth Disease vaccines in the country,
Uganda’s National Agiculture Research Organisation (NARO) has started the process of formulating and developing an FMD vaccine for Uganda.
Source: The independent
Farmers losing Shs4 trillion due to livestock diseases
ScienceDirect has revealed that farmers in Uganda lose more than $1.1b (Shs4.1 trillion) in aggregated annual direct and indirect loss due to the rising spread of tick-borne animal challenges, with the commonest and economically damaging tick-borne disease being the East Coast Fever.
The livestock industry in Uganda and its productivity continue to be threatened by a number of diseases many of which are tick-borne related.
This, Dr Anna Rose Ademun, the Ministry of Agriculture commissioner animal health, said results from arcaricides that have become resistant, thus the need to ensure collaboration and get solutions to the problem.
“There are ongoing efforts by the Agriculture Ministry, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation to support diagnosis of tick resistance to acaricides at regional laboratory centres but this is not enough,” she said during the livestock industry key stakeholders meeting in Kampala, which had been convened to discuss and prioritise areas for tick control.
The stakeholders included veterinarians, extension staff, farmers, processors and government representatives.
Ministry of Agriculture is already working on the Managing Animal Health and Acaricides for a Better Africa Initiative, which seeks to, among others, provide sustainable solutions to enable small-scale farmers maximise the potential of their cattle by developing and practicing methods that can successfully manage tick infections in cattle.
During the meeting, the TickAcademy App, which will support farmers in managing tick infestations was also pre-launched.
By the end of January, farmers and extension workers will be able to access the app’s educational content, which includes simple-to-watch films, to help them become knowledgeable about tick control.
Mr Enrique Hernández Pando, the GALVmed head of commercial development and impact, said the Managing Animal Health and Acaricides for a Better Africa Initiative will be important in tackling acaricide resistance challenges as well as help farmers and animal health officers to access creative methods of addressing the problem of acaricide resistance.
During the meeting, stakeholders jointly agree to train and sensitise field staff and farmers about tick management strategies that work, as well as strengthen the diagnostic infrastructure and testing capabilities for tick resistance and other animal health-related concerns.
Others will involve making it easier for farmers to obtain credit from savings institutions run by farmer groups at a reasonable cost so they may purchase specialized equipment for applying pesticides.
Mr Nishal Gunpath, the Elanco Animal Health country director south and sub-Saharan Africa, said they will support the Initiative to drive livestock in a better direction, noting that it will also help small-scale livestock farmers to maximise their potential.
Original Source: Daily Monitor
Ibanda imposes livestock quarantine to curb anthrax
Ibanda, Uganda. Authorities in Ibanda district have enforced a quarantine on the movement of cattle and, the sale of animal products following an outbreak of anthrax.
According to the Ibanda District Chief Administrative Officer Ruhemba Kweronda, the district has registered sporadic cases of anthrax disease in Humans who are suspected to have handled meat from infected dead animals.
Kweronda says the disease that was first noticed in November last year was reported in Rugaaga 1 and IV villages of Keihangara Sub County, where nine people who confessed to having slaughtered a dead animal tested positive for Anthrax.
He adds that early this month one person from Mbonwa Parish Rukiri Sub County tested positive and currently 12 people from Kakoma are showing signs. He also said that two animals died abruptly in Kigarama ward Ibanda Municipality and samples have been collected and taken to the laboratory.
According to Kweronda, all slaughter activities and movement of livestock will be temporarily enforced for one month in Ibanda Municipality and Ibanda South Constituency.
He says other measures put in place to curb the spread of the disease include registering all meat handlers in the district, enforcing the requirement by all cattle traders to have cattle trading licenses issued by the Ministry of Animal Husbandry, carrying out ring vaccination of all suspected animal species in areas of Keihangara sub county Bisheshe Division, Rukiri Sub County and Kagongo division, but also continue sensitization and surveillance activities.
Dr Hillary Arinaitwe, the District Veterinary Officer says that they have written to the Ministry of Agriculture demanding vaccines.
In December, authorities in Kyotera district enforced a complete ban on the movement of livestock and its products to halt the spread of Anthrax.
For nearly a month, the district has grappled with a rare outbreak of Anthrax. This outbreak has claimed at least six lives and led to several hospitalizations.
Anthrax is a zoonotic caused by Bacillus anthracis, a spore-like bacteria that produces strong toxins that are dangerous to animals and humans. Ruminants such as cows, goats, and sheep can quickly die with their carcasses showing little signs of infection but in human beings, symptoms begin with a flu-like illness, raised boil-like lesions on the skin.
Meanwhile, officials in Kiruhura District have extended the closure of four animal markets to control the spread of foot and mouth disease in the district.
The four markets are Nyakasahara, Kyiebuza, Kyeshama livestock markets, and Kitura goat Market.
In the Circular from the Kiruhura District Chief Administrative Officer Charles Kiberu Nsubuga, to all lower local council chairpersons dated 12th January 2024, they should ensure continued enforcement of the directive.
Original Source URN via : The Independent
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