- September 6, 2022
- Posted by: Ocan Wilfred
- Category: News
As the animal resources sub-sector looks forward to the new financial year, NAGRC&DB has invested a lot of effort into community-based breeding initiatives in order to ensure that no livestock farmer is left behind.
Ahmed Kibedi grows sugarcane on five acres but due to the fluctuating price of sugarcane, he was contemplating clearing the land and replacing it with maize and cassava. However, he has had a change of heart and is now planning to expand the sugarcane farmland after an opportunity knocked on his door.
“I’ve been growing sugarcane for more than 20 years but I was starting to lose hope because it was not sustainable,” he says. “I was advised to cut the plantation and grow other crops that are in high demand as raw materials for beer companies.”
That window of opportunity came in the form of a modern commercial feed mill that Rt Hon Rebecca Kadaga, the Second Deputy Premier and Minister for East African Community Affairs, commissioned on February 27 at Kasolwe government farm in Kamuli. On the same occasion, Rt Hon Kadaga also commissioned a multipurpose poultry hatchery.
The farm is one of several government facilities managed by NAGRC&DB and in this case, both the feed mill and hatchery are key in boosting household incomes in Busoga sub-region.
In general, this is part of the fulfilment of the Busoga livestock transformation intervention that started in 2019.
Mr Daniel Epinyu, the Kasolwe farm manager, noted that the mill produces a variety of quality animal feeds for cattle, goats, poultry, pigs and fish. “It produces five tonnes of livestock feed per hour, three tonnes for mash feed and two tonnes for pelleted feed, among other functions,” he said.
“In just a few weeks since we started operations of the mill, we are happy to see that farmers are seizing the opportunity to sell to us farm produce and the biggest beneficiaries are sugarcane growers.”
With the feed mill, Kibedi says he has managed to sell at least three tonnes of sugarcane offshoots. “I feel relieved that there is hope in sugarcane growing and hopefully I will be able to expand my plantation to 10 acres within the next one year.”
Kibedi’s story is just one of the several testimonies of farmers in Busoga sub-region. Revamping of Kasolwe farm continues to empower livestock farming communities in Busoga sub-region and the farm has positioned itself as the most resourceful government ranch in the eastern region.
The key agro enterprises promoted on the farm include intensive and semi-intensive dairy production, meat goat production, multipurpose poultry, piggery, fish farming and animal fodder production. Others are compounded animal feed processing and packaging and skilling.
The farm has been working with satellite livestock and fish farmers to identify and remedy bottlenecks to profitable commercial farming. “I’m proud that many of them have already formed breeder associations to help in the multiplication of good genetics of dairy, beef, pigs and goats,” Epinyu said.
The project targets the 300,000 households living below the poverty level. So far, they have been availed with appropriate packages for different livestock enterprises with the aim of transforming them from subsistence to commercial status.