Govt names regions with worst animal feeds

A farmer feeds his Friesian cows with silage. Photo/File

What you need to know:

  • Processed feed is estimated at 121,000 metric tonnes a year and foreign feed that is commercialised like hay and silage standards at 244m metric tonnes.

Karamoja Sub-region has the worst quality and quantity of animal feeds, the government has said.
The acting Assistant Commissioner for Animal Nutrition at the Agriculture ministry, Mr Denis Mulongo Maholo, said the natural grass given to animals in the region is deficient in terms of quantity and critical nutrients needed for the proper growth and development of livestock.

“As a country, we don’t have deficiencies in terms of quantity and in two of the critical nutrients like energy and proteins which are important in building the blocks for the wellbeing of animals. The challenge is that we have regional variations. The whole of Karamoja is in deficiency, be it in quantity and nutrients such as proteins and energy,” Mr Maholo said while speaking at the launch of Resilient African Feed and Fodder Systems Project (RAFFS) in Kampala last week.
He added: “The region is also challenged as it has to feed more animals coming from Kenya and South Sudan, amid a hostile climate.”

In further naming the worst performing regions, Mr Maholo said animal feeds from areas around Busoga, Bugisu,  Bukedi, Sebei and Mbarara are deficient  in proteins, while those from Rwenzori area are deficient in energy.
He further revealed that the regional imbalance must be balanced such that the nutritional needs of both animals and consumers of animal products can be met countrywide.

“High grade animal feed will ensure that people consume livestock products or fish with the right content of nutritional values. This will help address malnutrition which is resulting into anemia, especially in children and women,’’ Mr Maholo said.
He added that according to a 2022 assessment, Uganda’s national potential to produce feed from crop source alone  stands 121.7m metric tonnes. 
Of this, 48m metric tonnes is consumed by livestock while 38 percent is wasted.

In addition, processed feed is estimated at 121,000 metric tonnes a year and foreign feed that is commercialised like hay and silage standards at 244m metric tonnes.
Mr Maholo said seasonal shortages have in the past forced farmers, especially those of poultry and dairy farmers to collapse or fail to meet set targets.
“Because of the lope holes in value chain, we have had some of our exports banned because they don’t meet the quality demand of our exports markets,’’ he said.

The State Minister for Agriculture in charge of Fisheries, Ms Hellen Adoa, said the private sector and partners should collaborate with the government and increase local production of feeds.
Ms Adoa said it is dangerous for farmers to heavily rely on imports of products that can easily be produced back home, saying disruptions in supply will  always results into grave consequences.

She warned that the ongoing war between the Palestinian militant groups and Israel, is likely to disrupt the importation of animal feeds and that this could lead to a hike in prices.