Women, Govt Determined to Improve Livestock Entrepreneurship


Purity Musyoka in her goats farm. PHOTO BY EVA NANUGABI

After testing the fruits of the livestock entrepreneurship, a section of women involved in this field do not regret the decision they opted for as an investment to transform their lives. Purity Musyoka, the operations manager on Mashambani diary goat farm in Banga Village Mukono district, who started with one goat for family milk, now boosts of over 300 goats but also her farm is listed among the best for diary goat breeds in Uganda.

Musyoka, a proud farmer does not shy away from sharing her humble beginning that involved losing over 100 goats of the 124 goats that were on the farm by that time, as she used it as a turning point for Mashambani diary goats farm.

Participate in census for proper government planning

Discovering that her goats died due to a strange disease, Musyoka now utilized the internet and educated herself on several issues including vaccination of goats. She later ventured into commercialized farming using the little knowledge she acquired from the internet. When Mbae narrates her journey and love for dairy goats, you cannot miss asking how much she earns from this enterprise.

According to Mbae a well fed diary goat can produce four to five liters of milk per day with a liter at farm price purchased at 5000 Uganda Shillings. Mbae targets to have 300 female diary goats.
Her ambitions are in line with the government program of ensuring that farmers stop looking at numbers of livestock on their farms but concentrate on quality.

Bright Rwamirama, the state minister animal industry, while opening the two days’ long multi stakeholders’ dialogue in Kampala organized by the African Union –InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources -AU –IBAR ,emphasized that farmers now need to divert from substance and focus on commercial production for both livestock and their feed.

Musyoka, one of the women farmers who benefited from the Resilient African Feed and Fodder System –RAFFs project managed under the AU –IBAR, recommend the Saanen and toggenburger goats for diary, compared to the local breeds as they continuously milk as long as it is not starved.

Reports by the Diary Development Authority, an Organization that oversees the diary industry in the country highlight that the economic value of goat’s milk is 10 times higher than the cow’s milk fetching more incomes for a litre.

According to the Authority, the diary sector has over time realized a rapid growth from 1.5 billion litres in 2008 to 2.7 billion litres in 2019 with foreign exchange valued at USD 139.5 million in 2019 however, largely attributed to the dairy cattle with the contribution of dairy goat’s unknown and not quantified.

Through their umbrella, the African Women in Animal Resources and Agro business Network for Uganda chapter, the women note that since 2017 they have been mobilizing women across the country at grass root level interested in the sector.

Lovin Kobusingye, the President for African Women in Animal Resources and Agro business Network for Uganda chapter explains that it is important to develop a coordinating platform for the entire value chain of the livestock industry.

She however, laments challenges that still limit women from potentially tapping into the opportunities at their exposure in the sector including among others land. “We are trying to educate women on land reforms, land policies and also negotiations, how do you get land, the land law, they can aslo buy, it’s also free for women now can buy land ,no one can stop you from buying and purchasing your own land’’says Kobusingye.

On his part Rwamirama encouraged livestock farmers to adapt to the new scientific farming methods that are resilient to climate change that have affected the animal feed and fodder industry. According to Rwamirama Africa and Uganda in particular has potential to produce animal feed for the region if the industry comes together to harmonize all the issues that limit this potential including among others the issue of quality.

Meanwhile the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries –MAAIF, says the Feed and Fodder sector exports 38.57 million US dollars and imports 102.94 million US dollars. They attribute this imbalance to insufficient supply systems, subsistence oriented, dominated by informal sector players hence calling for coordinated efforts to develop it for both the local, regional and international markets.

In his remarks at the multi-stakeholders dialogue, Rwamirama also revealed that the government is putting in a lot of money in the animal feeds to a tune so far 46 billion Uganda shillings invested in the production system of animal feeds production for both private and public sectors.

According to Rwamirama the intervention of the African Union –InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources -AU –IBAR is timely as Uganda is running a country wide program on animal feeds and at the same time passed the animal feed policy.

”You have seen Karamajong’s shifting from one place to another in search of pasture and water, this is going to actually encourage farmers to stop unnecessary livestock movement and minimize disease spread in the country because as more animals move from place to place its more likely that they will catch disease ,so this is very appropriate’’Rwamirama emphasized.

Dr Annie Kigezo, the senior Programs Officer African Union- InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources -AU –IBAR notes that it is crucial to ensure women empowerment in the feed and Fodder industry.

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