Luweero Embarks on Pasture Improvement

1365 Views Luweero, Uganda

In short
Andrew Kidda Makubuya, Senior Veterinary Officer, Luweero district, says a survey by the Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Ministry shows a decline in milk production across the country due to poor pasture and climate change.

The Luweero District Veterinary Office has embarked on a campaign to improve and multiply pasture in a move to boast milk production. Currently, on average a dairy cow in Luweero produces between 5-7 liters each day, which the veterinary office says is low.
 
 
Andrew Kidda Makubuya, Senior Veterinary Officer, Luweero district, says a survey by the Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Ministry shows a decline in milk production across the country due to poor pasture and climate change.
 
He says that as a result, the district has embarked on a campaign to promote growing, multiplying and storage of pasture for livestok with support from Food Agriculture Organization, Ministry of Agriculture and Mukono Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MUZARDI).
 
 
According to Makubuya, the district intends to establish 12 demonstration sites where they will showcase technologies in forage and fodder multiplication and hay and silage conservation.
 
 
Makubuya explains that the department hopes that over 80 pastoralists will embrace the technologies in the first year of the project and replicate it on their farms.
 

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Currently, the Veterinary department is identifying and selecting farmers who will be involved in the project, which is scheduled to start in January 2017. The district hopes that the technology will help farmers to increase their milk yield to 10 liter per day from each cow.
 
Under the project, the veterinary office will provide selected pastoralists with chaff cutters; spray pumps pesticides and pasture seeds. The district estimates that establishing the demonstration sites will cost Shillings 15 million.
 
 
There are mixed reactions from the pastoralists and local leaders on the project. Some of the leaders and pastoralists are particularly concerned about the cost of implementing the project, saying most farmers may not afford it.
 

Sam Sserunjogi, a pastoralist in Katikamu Sub County, says most of the residents have a small now of cows, which makes the project costly. He wants the veterinary office to engage in cattle multiplication rather than pastures which is not yet a big issue.
 

But Abdul Kalemera, the Nyimbwa Sub County LC V councilor has welcomed the campaign, saying it's timely because many cows are dying over lack of pastures.
 
 
Kalemera says there is no more open land for grazing cattle, adding that time has come for pastoralists to grow their own pastures. According to Luweero district Veterinary Office, there are over 79,000 cows in the district.

 

About the author

Brian Luwaga
Since Brian Luwaga joined Uganda Radio Network in 2011, he is still amazed how, "URN is a place that gives journalists a chance to enhance their skills . It gives a journalist an opportunity to adopt and master various aspects of journalism that include radio broadcast, social media, photography and television production."

A practicing journalist since 2009, first with Star FM, Luwaga has always been keen to write about the concerns of the "common person." Based for much of his career in Luweero, Luwaga takes it as a compliment if politicians complain that his reporting is too harsh.

In his journalism, Luwaga likes to merge the past with the present. He believes you cannot understand what is happening now, if you do not have a grounding in the past. Brian Luwaga is the Luweero URN bureau chief. Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Mityana, Mubende and Wakiso districts fall under his docket.

Luwaga is interested in humanitarian work and is a keen Rotarian.