Govt roots for affordable animal feeds to farmers

Minister of State for Animal Industry Bright K Rwamirama (second right) hands over a bull to retired Chief Justice Bart Katureebe in Entebbe on October 17, 2023. Photo/Paul Adude

What you need to know:

  • Mr Bright Rwamirama, the Minister of State for Animal Industry, says this will improve animal feeding and quality.

The Minister of State for Animal Industry, Mr Bright Rwamirama, has appealed to the newly inaugurated National Animal Genetics Resources Centre and Data Bank (NAGRC&DB) board members to avail affordable feeds to farmers in order to improve animal feeding and quality.

“The feeds should be sustainably affordable by the farmers. We got funding from government and we are convincing people to take feeds but the adoption [rate] is still very slow,” he said.

Mr Rwamirama made the remarks during the inauguration of the new NAGRC&DB board members and release of 100 assorted superior dairy breeding bulls to farmers, who are members of dairy cooperatives, identified across the country in Entebbe on Tuesday.

“We don’t need to make any profits in the beginning but show the people the magic in feeding cows. They will actually buy them at the normal prices. Rains have come, you may not need to make profit now.  Let’s make sure we give these feeds to the farmers. Once they taste the results, they will be hungry to take more,” Mr Rwamirama said. 

He called on the new board to protect government land from encroachers.

“Protecting government land is very key.  Those of you who know, when I came in the ministry, we had lost so many farms. We have since recovered these farms and they are up and running. There are so many encroachers even here,” Mr Rwamirama added.

The managing director of NAGRC&DB, Mr Peter Beine, said the centre, which also hosts the regional animal gene bank, will continuously churn out products and services that are critical for the success of farming communities across the country.

“The products include seed of all species, animal feed, better grade animals, liquid nitrogen and high grade manure, among other services that we offer,” he said.

Mr Beine added that the centre will have targeted breeding that will optimise the productivity of the Ankole cow in terms of milk and weight gain, which will be a special focus in terms of breeding, feeding and managing animal health.

“We have been challenged before by the President to make sure the Ankole long-horned cattle have productivity levels that level up with these exotic breeds,” he said.

The new board chairperson, Mr Ben Anyama, urged employees of NAGRC&DB to keep time, desist from corruption and infighting to fulfil the centre’s work plans.

“The farms must be for business, not for political appeasement. In three months, we are going to develop a new NAGRC&DB structure because it’s growing big and bigger. Once this item comes before you for discussion, my board, Hon Minister, please address it,” he said.