Nakaseke Leaders Want OWC Heifers Procured From Same Area

2033 Views Luweero, Uganda

In short
The ongoing distribution of heifers, coffee, fruit seedlings and other inputs is another intervention by the government to eradicate poverty and trigger the economic transformation of the population.

Nakaseke district leaders are demanding that heifers distributed under Operation Wealth Creation be bought within the district in order to minimize losses.

The ongoing distribution of heifers, coffee, fruit seedlings and other inputs is another intervention by the government to eradicate poverty and trigger the economic transformation of the population.

However, investigations by Nakaseke District Production and Community Service committee have established that a large number of heifers distributed under the programme had failed to cope with the environment in the district and died mysteriously.

Vincent Kaweesa, the chairperson of the District Production and Community Service Committee explains that 50 percent of the 42 heifers procured from Western Uganda and distributed in Nakaseke district that in the financial year 2016/17 failed to adapt to the local environment and died.
 
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Fred Rwabirinda, the district Councillor for Kinyogogga Sub County explains that the variance in farming practices is responsible for the losses. He says that whereas cattle in western Uganda is often kept in kraals, or on a single farm, farmers in Nakaseke use the free range system moving from one side of the district to another in search of water and pasture.

Rwabirinda also contests guidelines under the programme which compel beneficiaries to construct permanent shelters for the cattle saying they are not applicable because community members cannot afford the cost of putting up such shelters.
 
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Luganda Byte
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Disan Lwanga, the district Councillor for Kiwoko town council says that buying heifers from within also encourages knowledge sharing between suppliers and beneficiaries which is impossible with breeds from far districts. Lwanga also notes that the idea will create a market for local pastoralists.

The district council has since resolved to petition the commanders of National Agriculture Advisory Services Secretariat and Ministry of Agriculture to consider their demand.

But Moses Ssekandi, the Nakaseke District Veterinary Officer disagrees saying the major reason why heifers supplied in OWC die is poor management and lack of pasture in local communities. Ssekandi says that if the district invests in educating beneficiaries to manage them well, they can easily survive.

Ndoboli Kataike, the Director of Research and Planning in Operation Wealth Creation said that OWC programme doesn't procure the heifers but only receive them from NAADS and distribute to farmers. Ndoboli, however, advised suppliers from Nakaseke to submit applications to NAADS to supply heifers if they meet requirements and own improved breeds.

According to Nakaseke District Veterinary Office, there are over 230,000 head of cattle in the district. The produces 60,000 litres of milk per day during the rainy season and between 20,000-30,000 litres each day during the dry season.

 

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.