An aura of happiness hangs over Ms Joska Acoro’s home in Awic Village, Unyama Sub-county in Gulu District.
In the compound, there is an unusual sight of piles of freshly cut grass to feed a Friesian cow and a heifer in the backyard.
Every day, Ms Acoro wakes up at 6am to clean the kraal and wash the cans for the 7am milking schedule. Upon delivering the milk at Unyama Trading Centre, she returns to look for fresh grass to feed the cows.
“Once I bring the grass, my husband feeds them and does the afternoon milking. Once we are done with the crop harvest, we should be able to roof our new building and refurbish the kraal since the mother cow is expectant,” Ms Acoro says.
Together with her husband, Mr Michael Opira, the couple is spreading in the sun 16 bags of groundnuts they recently harvested and expects another 10 bags of maize from a field that is nearing harvest.
The outbreak of the LRA war in 1986 did not only claim thousands of lives but rid the region of the remaining livestock since people were forced into displaced people’s camps.
As the region recovers from the impact of the conflict, Ms Acoro is one of the 46 peasants in Gulu and Omoro districts who are reaping from milk production.
“Initially, I was criticised for going for dairy cows but when I started selling the milk, a lot of women come home to seek advice on starting it, I can now deposit the biggest amount of money in our Ribe-ber VSLA group,” she said.
In 2017, the Microfinance Support Centre Ltd (MSC), a government credit financial institution, partnered with Heifer International, a local NGO, to provide dairy animals on loan to farmers in Unyama and Koro sub-counties of Gulu and Omoro districts, respectively.
A total of 46 dairy animals were given to farmers upon vetting.Farmer groups, associations and cooperative societies were assessed to define their vulnerability.
The beneficiaries were then subjected to training in finance management and dairy production.
Five of the 46 beneficiaries visited by Daily Monitor were able to afford meals, meet household expenses every day as well as pay school fees for their children from the money raised from milk sales.
Mr Patrick Ben Oloya, a 63-year-old resident of Koro-pida Village, Koro Sub-county in Omoro District, is one such beneficiary who received a heifer worth Shs3.3million under the loan scheme in 2018.
“A lot of things have changed since I got the cow that has now produced two other animals. From the cow, I and my family get milk, and I sell some of it to service the loan with MSC, pay medication and food bills,” he says.
From his record books, the cow gives Mr Oloya eight to 10 litres of milk a day, which translates to between Shs16,000 and Shs20,000 per day.
Mr Joel Ludwali, MSC’s credit officer for the northern region, said government embarked on a venture that primarily intended to improve livelihoods and household incomes of the vulnerable poor.
“The target of this initiative was to eradicate poverty and demystify a belief that diary or beef production were unavailable in the region even when all the production factors are lying idle and wasting away,” Mr Ludwali said.
Original Post: Daily Monitor
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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