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National Small Ruminants Breeding Resources Centre unit (Goats and Sheep)

  • National Small Ruminants Breeding Resources Centre unit (1. Goats)

    All over Uganda there is an increasing interest in goats and goat products – both dairy and meat. This is due increase in population density, greater demand for meat and milk, yet reduced availability of pasture land because of increased arable farming activity. In some areas such as the highlands of Kigezi, Rwenzori and Elgon this can take a very extreme form, such that keeping goats becomes the only option available for the majority of families desiring consistent supplies of milk, meat and sustainable income.

    NAGRC & DB is currently promoting goat production through raising an ellite parent stock of pure South African Boer, Pure Black Mubende, Pure Mubende spotted, the Kasolwe Small East African breed and the Kigezi. The center is also engaged in cross breeding of the indigenous goats with the South African Boer goats and availing the offspring (50% and 75%) to several farmers across the country. NAGRC & DB is also promoting goat breeders associations in different parts of the country.  The associations serve as private sector organizations to multiply good quality parent stock for access by other farmers. 

    NAGRC & DB is also in the process of developing the dairy goat industry through working with the existing dairy goat breeders networks in Mount Elgon and Rwenzori. Through this framework and using assisted reproductive technologies, these farmers will be supported to access high quality dairy goat genetics and trained on best management practices for improved production and productivity.

    On-going interventions and future prospects for goat improvement in Uganda

    1. Community based breeding programs
    2. Nucleus breeding programs
      1. Open nucleus – with the centre farms and selected breeders in the various agro-ecological zones
      2. Contract mating – to be linked with the buckstud
    3. Out scaling Artificial insemination and embryo transfer technologies
      1. Training of technicians
      2. Purchase of equipment
      3. Implementation of ambulatory goat AI programs
    4. Goat production for strategic export
      1. Creation of disease control zones
      2. Set and enforce standards that meet the export demands
    5. Conservation of the indigenous goat genetic resources in Uganda
    6. Establishment of a goat resource centre and buck stud.
  • National Small Ruminants Breeding Resources Centre unit (2. Rabbits)

    Rationale: Rabbit farming started in Uganda as early as 1900 introduced by the British colonial masters and rabbits were mostly reared as pets. Commercial rabbit farming started as early as 2000 but people had a bad mentality about them as they were seen as pets and others saw them as mere rodents and compared them to rats. Eventually this perception is diminishing but a lot of sensitization and marketing needs to continue.

    Rabbit breeds: The breeds available in Uganda are mostly cross breeds of local breeds and some exotic hybrids. The hybrids available in Uganda are numerous as we are still in the process of DNA profiling them with the help of NAGRC-DB but they include among the many; – Newzeland white, California white, Chinchilla, Flemish giants, local Ugandan kabale breed and the Kenyan white.

    UNRAFA,NAGRC-DB AND MAAIF are in the final stages of profiling farmers, training of farmers is ongoing mostly on virtual platforms especially zoom, weighing scales have been provided to regional coordinators to help farmers with weight monitoring, laboratory diagnostic equipment has also been procured to help the farmers test for diseases and also we are in our final stages of training village healthy teams to help the farmers since vets are not easily accessible and even most of them are not so much experiences in rabbit diseases in tropical areas.

    Membership: As of now, UNRAFA has 60 members since it opened its registers from the 1st of August. This is a very good trend. Membership is for rabbit farmers and others involved in the rabbit chain value production. Membership fee is just 30000 ugs and annual subscription is 20000 ugs to make a total of 50000 ugs. This a manageable fee as will be revised from time to time by the annual general meeting. The registration process of members is still on going.