Uganda seeks help from experts in animal breeding
Uganda's Government is ready to change the business model for local farmers after the country's National Animal Genetic Resources Centre and Data Bank (NAGRC&DB) has hired experts to help in improving animal genetics.
"In reality, our farmers have been looking after animals that do not reward them much so we want to get them into animals that give them enough milk and meat and also enable them to get a better income.
We are getting into an era where our farmers must be competitive; we must be able to live within the competition that is surrounding them already. We are not doing this alone but there other farmers in Kenya, Botswana, South Africa, Egypt and as far as Europe, America and Asia in this improved breeding", said the minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Vincent Ssempijja.
According to the local newspaper The Observer, Uganda's officials are planning to improve on indigenous breeds and to enhance milk production and high-quality animals for meat.
"Now you realise that 90 per cent of our animals are indigenous, which are very good in disease resistance but are below quality so the idea is to make sure we improve on our technology so that we roll to the community whether you have a small number of animal; all are targeted", explained Charles Lagu, Executive Director, NAGRC&DB.
The programme includes training for the vets, importing good genetic material, semen, embryos and building infrastructure in all the regions. It is estimated that with better breeds production will increase from 150kg to over 400kg carcass weight. Also, the growth rate will be faster, down from five to one and half years to maturity with improved breeds.
Nevertheless, the indigenous breeds, like long-horned cows (Ankole), Zebu cattle and the Mubende spotted goats, are going be preserved in several farms.
(Photo source: New Vision)