By: Ismael Kasooha


The Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries has launched the distribution of high-quality breed heifers to the people of Busoga as one way of improving household incomes.

The 500 heifers worth 1.5bn Shilling are meant to address household poverty in Busoga sub-region and were procured through the National Agriculture Advisory Services-NAADS programme.

The NRM government aims at offering alternative sources of income to the people of Busoga who have mainly been stuck in sugar cane growing exacerbating the poverty levels in the region.

The Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Nabbanja Robinah (centre) handing over heifers to the beneficiaries in Iganga town on Thursday

Dr. Thomas Nsemerirwe, the NAADS Livestock Development Officer, said that the heifers given to the beneficiaries are disease resistant, which will prevent premature deaths and ease management by the farmers, most of whom are new in this field.

“The NAADS team has been tasked to skill farmers on acceptable livestock farming practices to ensure better outcomes. All the heifers were artificially inseminated before distribution and the beneficiaries have been educated on the right pastures required,” Nsemerirwe said.

He said that a team of experts from the Diary Development Authority (DDA) has been assigned the task of making spot-checks on the different farms, in a bid to continuously equip farmers with the proper management of dairy farms.

The State Minister for Agriculture, Fred Bwino Kyakulaga said that the heifers are in fulfillment of a presidential pledge made to Busoga MPs during one of the NRM caucus meetings at the National Leadership Institute (NALI) in Kyankwanzi.

Kyakulaga said that each Member of Parliament from Busoga was tasked to identify at least 10 people from their electoral areas to benefit from the government programme.

“The beneficiaries will become role models in their communities, who would be trainers of future beneficiaries in this project that has come to address our cries as the people of Busoga,” said Kyakulaga.

Rt. Hon. PM Robinah Nabbanja (centre) admiring a calf that was produced by one of the heifers that were distributed to farmers in Iganga District

The Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja who presided over the launch of distribution of the heifers said that Busoga’s was once rated as one of Uganda’s cattle corridors and interventions like this will over time revive the dairy sector in the sub-region.

“This is an initiative of President Yoweri Museveni to support the people of Busoga come out of poverty in addition to other government programmes. If the beneficiaries adhere to the set guidelines and register progress, the government will support them with coolers, and other value-addition equipment to enable them to reap more profits from their livestock business,” noted Nabbanja.

She said that the Heifer intervention in Busoga is in line with the government programme for wealth creation through creating small and medium enterprises around the region, adding that it complements the government efforts of PDM and other programmes.

“The Heifer intervention in Busoga Sub-region is in line with the government programme for wealth creation by creating small and medium enterprises around this region. This compliments our efforts of the Parish Development Model (PDM), and it promotes an alternative source of livelihood through increased milk production and household incomes,” she added.

Nabbanja also noted that for quite a long time several households have been either directly or indirectly depending on sugarcane plantations for survival, which had kept them in poverty due to price uncertainties in the industry. She added that there are ongoing efforts to revive the dairy sector, and the economic fortunes of the sub-region will drastically change.

The launch was attended by Members of Parliament from Busoga, RDC/ RCCs in Busoga including Deputies and Assistants, District Chairpersons and other district leaders, cultural and religious leaders.