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Agriculture & Environment

Ugandans Consume Less Meat than Recommended-Livestock Experts

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By Jane Anyango

Experts in livestock and beef production have expressed concerns over the low levels of Uganda’s consumption of meat saying, there is a clear need to produce more meat, beef in particular, if the country is not to import to meet the demand.

The low consumption rate for meat among Ugandans is attributed to the deficit in meat production, poor beef quality and  lengthy period of raising  and feeding animals to reach the market and slaughter age.

To increase meat production cattle beef producers  need to adopt intensive animal husbandry practices and  supplementary  feeding technologies to guarantee  proper feeding, nutrition,  and faster growth.

Experts say, Uganda has 14.2 million cattle, 16 million goats, 4.5 million sheep and 47.6 million poultry. The country also has 4.1 million pigs plus some donkeys and camels-all having a biomass equivalent of 14.7 million Tropical Livestock Units (TLU) dominated by cattle (77%).

The project Principal Investigator (PI) Makerere University, Associate Professor Denis Mpairwe said Uganda‘s 11.9m cattle population is raised for meat in four broad production systems.  Pastoral (41% of cattle) contributing 19% of farm income, Agro-pastoral (49% of cattle) contributing 12% of farm income, Ranches (8% of cattle)  contributing 45% of farm income and Semi-intensive production system (2% of cattle ) contributing to  75% of farm income.

Professor  Mpairwe however noted that competition for land, feed and water resources is forcing  more migratory cattle owners to sedentarize. Depending on the local conditions like climate, infrastructure, land availability, and local traditions, Prof. Mpairwe identified beef cattle husbandry systems in the country.

The extensive systems comprising the pastoral, agro pastoral and ranching systems form the greatest concentration of beef cattle in Uganda but with low input low output with the common practice of leaving animals to survive by nature.

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Agriculture & Environment

3 Year Doctoral Research Fellowships – ‘Drylands Transform’ Project

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A young man herds cattle in Karamoja. Photo credity: Daily Monitor.

Drylands Transform – Pathways and challenges toward a socio-ecological transformation of landscapes, livestock and livelihoods in the East African drylands, is a multidisciplinary research project (2020 – 2024) led by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). The geographical focus of Drylands Transform is the cross-boundary area between Kenya and Uganda, part of the Karamoja cluster. The project is funded by the Swedish research council FORMAS and involves scholars from seven different universities and organizations in Sweden and the East African region. Dryland Transform is part of the Triple L research initiative.

The project aims to investigate the links between land health, livestock-based livelihoods, human well-being, and land management and governance. We will contribute with new knowledge for transformative change and sustainable development of rangelands in the drylands of East Africa.

Through strong stakeholder engagement in interdisciplinary research, we set out to explore the challenges and pathways towards a social-ecological transformation in drylands that optimizes synergies among the sustainable development goals (SDGs) while minimizing the trade-offs. We will use innovative field research approaches focusing on livelihood improvement through rangeland restoration and governance interventions in four sites in the border region between Kenya and Uganda.

Subject area

Two subject areas will be covered by the PhD fellowships:

  1. Household resilience to climate variability: “Impacts, adaptation and resilience to climate variability and droughts”
  2. Climate variability and conflicts: “Effects of Climate Variability on the rise of social conflicts at the household and community level”

Funding

The project includes funds for 36 months and covers tuition, fieldwork as well as participation in project meetings, regional workshops and international academic conferences, and a monthly stipend.

Core eligibility criteria

The suitable candidates will have the following qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in any of the following fields: Agricultural Economics or related fields; Rangeland Management or related fields; Applied Human nutrition or related fields; public health/health sciences or related fields
  • Masters degree should not be older than 5 years
  • National of Uganda or Kenya
  • Prior experience of conducting qualitative and/or quantitative empirical research preferably in the drylands
  • At least one publication in peer-reviewed journals.

How to apply:

Interested applicants should send applications to Dr. Alice Turinawe (alice.turinawe[at]mak.ac.ug) with a copy to Dr. Stephen Mureithi (stemureithi[at]uonbi.ac.ke) by end of day, July 31, 2021.

Please see Downloads for more details

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Agriculture & Environment

Livestock Farmers Skilled on Pasture Production and Management

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CEO Robran Holdings Limited (RHL), Brian Natwijuka (in green t-shirt) teaches farmers about different pastures as part of the EU-Funded SUPPF-L training held at RHL, Buwanuka, Wakiso district.

By Jane Anyango

About 40 livestock farmers from ten cattle corridor districts in Central and Western Uganda have been retooled on pasture production and management to enhance their capacity to improve animal nutrition, farm yields and profits.

Pastures are the cheapest source of feed for livestock and are mostly made up of grasses and legumes with high levels of required nutrients that are needed by animals for quick maturity, increased production, good health and quality products.

The farmers attended lessons at Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo (MUARIK) and conducted practical sessions at Robran Holdings Limited (RHL), in Buwanuka Wakiso district. The trained farmers are expected to go out and train fellow farmers in their respective districts on how produce and manage pasture for supplementary feeding.

The training was organized under the Promote Supplementary Feeding (SUPPL-F) project. The SUPPL-F project is part of the Developing a Market –Oriented and Environmentally Sustainable Beef Meat Industry in Uganda (MOBIP) which is a Government of Uganda program supported by the European Union (EU) under the overall  supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF).

The project is implemented by the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) and partners at a total budget of EUR 715,299 for a period of 28 months from the 12th August 2019 to December 2021. The partners include Robran Holdings Limited (RHL), Makerere University College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), The Green Elephant (TGE), the Livestock Development Forum (LDF) and the Orchid House Farm Nakasongola.

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Agriculture & Environment

Cattle Corridor Farmers Trained on Silage and Hay Preparation

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L-R: Mr. Brian Natwijuka, one of the trainees and Mr. Daniel Ojiambo compacting grass for silage making during the training under the EU-funded SUPPL-F project at Robran Holdings Limited (RHL), in Buwanuka Wakiso District.

By Jane Anyango

Selected beef cattle farmers from 10 districts in the Central and Western cattle corridors of Uganda have been trained on how to prepare silage and hay as supplementary feed to boost beef production in the country.

Silage and hay are preserved or stored feed given to the cattle during a shortage of green forage. They are very nutritious and easy to digest feed for the cattle that ensure high milk production, high quality meat for a short time and healthy stay of animals especially during dry seasons.

The theoretical training was conducted at Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo (MUARIK) whereas the practical sessions were carried out at Robran Holdings Limited (RHL), in Buwanuka Wakiso district.

The trained farmers are expected to go out and train fellow farmers in their respective districts on how to prepare and utilize silage and hay as supplementary feeds.

The training was organized under the Promote Supplementary Feeding (SUPPL-F) project. The project is part of the Developing a Market –Oriented and Environmentally Sustainable Beef Meat Industry in Uganda (MOBIP) which is a Government of Uganda programme supported by the European Union under the overall  supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF).

The project is implemented by the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) and partners at a total budget of EUR 715,299 for a period of 28 months from the 12th August 2019 to December 2021. The collaborating partners include Robran Holdings Limited (RHL), Makerere University College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), The Green Elephant (TGE), the Livestock Development Forum (LDF) and the Orchid House Farm Nakasongola.

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