Ministry Commissions Livestock Market and Production Infrastructure worth 19.7 billion Uganda Shillings under the Regional Pastoral Livelihoods Resilience Project
In Uganda, livestock or livestock-related activities contribute at least 50 percent of the total value of marketed output and subsistence production consumed by an average pastoralist household. Livestock provides nutrients and proteins, especially for children, as well as cash to trade for other household needs and services. Other than for subsistence, pastoralists use their livestock as investments, through herd diversification, to hedge off risk.
In November 2018, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Mr. Pius Wakabi Kasajja signed contracts to offset the construction of livestock production and marketing infrastructure to be located in the districts of Amudat, Abim, Amuria, Bukedea, Kaabong, Kotido, Katakwi, Kumi, Kween, Moroto, Napak.
Throughout September 2020, the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Sempijja and the Minister of State for the Animal Industry Hon. Lt. Col. (Rtd.) Dr. Rwamirama Bright commissioned livestock marketing and production infrastructure in the Karamoja, and Teso regions that the project has constructed.
These facilities have a larger capacity than the primary infrastructure that existed before and have been constructed with proper weighing, loading and hygienic facilities to handle livestock during a market day. Traders from across the region of Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan often come with trucks to buy full loads of cattle, goats and sheep for immediate transportation to large centres such as Kampala, Kitale, Nairobi and Juba.
In the unimproved markets, animals are gathered in an agreed location and sold according to size and body condition without being weighed. The animals often spend the whole day in the market without facilities for drinking, being examined or confined in a manageable area. Termite mounds, are often used as loading ramps. The new facilities that have been established provide for sale of cattle by weight, provide compartments where different groups can be kept and provided with water, loading rumps where animals are easily and humanely loaded or offloaded and office and treatment crushes for the veterinary personnel.
With these new facilities coupled with a Livestock Market Information System in place, the farmers are at an advantage to negotiate higher prices for their livestock since with such facilities large numbers of animals are available for sale and more traders exist and farmers are better able to bargain for fairer prices. The facilities will ensure that better quality of meat is derived from the markets since the animals can be humanly handled thus increasing access to lucrative markets.
The infrastructure constructed includes;
1. 12 Livestock Markets on 20acres each having; a vet office, cattle crush, VIP latrine, loading / offloading ramp, water troughs and weighing scale with 2 boreholes for communal use.
2. 6 Animal Holding Grounds on 20 acres each having; a vet office, loading/offloading ramp, vet residence ,water troughs, staff quarters, spray race, tyre and foot wash, standard septic tank for residential house, cattle crush ,VIP latrines with 2 boreholes for communal use.
3. 60 Standalone Cattle Crushes on 3 acres each having; a cattle crush and VIP latrine with 1 borehole for communal use.
4. 12 Slaughter Sheds on 10 acres each having; a town slaughter shed, offloading ramp, VIP latrine, water troughs, solid, grease and fat trap for slaughter shed waste disposal, skin cleaning dome ,weighing scale, condemned parts pit and manure pit with 2 boreholes for communal use.
5. 6 Quarantine Stations on 20 acres each having; a vet office, vet residence, staff quarters ,tyre and foot wash ,cattle crush ,VIP latrine, loading/offloading ramp, water troughs, spray race and standard septic tank for residential house.
6. 3 Border Animal Check points each having; a vet office, tyre and foot wash and VIP latrines with 1 borehole each.
To ensure that the objective for which this infrastructure was built is realized, there is need for a robust operation and maintenance management system in place. Each of these structures has a management Committee that whose capacity has been built through training under the project. This will ensure the improvement of the lives of the beneficiaries through strategically placing them in the right place to participate in the national economy, and help the country achieve the targeted human development indices.