The potential for beef production in Uganda presents opportunities for food and nutritional security, employment, livelihoods and financial inclusion for the poor. Statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) show that beef consumption in Uganda has been growing at a rate of 2% for the past 50 years. Moreover, according to OECD-FAO, global beef consumption is expected to reach 72 million tonnes by 2025 from 70 million tonnes in 2021 indicating that opportunities for the sector exist even beyond the borders. However, growth of the sector is constrained by inadequate feed resources for cattle, poor access to water, cattle diseases, inadequate knowledge and skills, low adoption of commercialisation approaches and low integration of beef production with other production activities. In 2019 the EU launched a 15 million Euro (UGX 67 billion) project for development of the beef sector in Uganda. The project; “Development of a Market Oriented, environmentally sustainable Beef Industry Project (MOBIP) was a 5-year project that aimed at addressing the afore mentioned challenges along the beef value chain in Uganda. The National Livestock Resources Research Institute (NaLIRRI) which is one of the institutes of the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) implemented a component aimed at addressing challenges related to Rangelands, Agro-forestry and Water Resources Management (RAWM). In Partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Consortium for enhancing University Responsiveness to Agribusiness Development (CURAD) and Agriculture Environment and Ecosystems (AGRENES) the project implemented interventions in 9 districts of the cattle corridor namely Mbarara, Masindi, Kiboga, Sembabule, Nakaseke, Kyankwanzi, Isingiro, Kiruhura and Nakasongola over a 2-year period ending in June 2022. The interventions improved beef production resources for 1,120 beef producers, incubated 53 beef value chain businesses, planted over 800 acres of improved pastures and over 100 acres of pasture seed multiplication plots for sustainability, added 540,000 litres of water storage capacity in 18 beef farms, sensitised district extension staff on information access for weather projections to support decision making and technical advice, trained beef producer households in production of briquettes from cattle dung and introduced food and feed sweet potato varieties across 70 beef producer households. Over 60 change agents were equipped with information and skills for supporting beef production and use of machinery for baling hay. During demonstration of mechanized hay baling, over 300,000kgs of hay were produced on farms across the districts for dry season feeding. Some of the processes of delivering these interventions, the achievements and experiences have been documented in this special issue to provide information and lessons for the future. NaLIRRI and her partners greatly appreciate RUFORUM whose expertise and experience in publishing has made the production of this special issue possible. Funding for these activities was provided by the EU with co-financing from NARO. The district local governments and district technical staff from the 9 districts were highly instrumental in ensuring effective implementation of the project. The project management unit under MAAIF is commended for the oversight role and the participating farmers are applauded for embracing the interventions and enabling the clear demonstration of their benefits. We trust that this series will provide valuable information for all seeking to advance the beef industry in Uganda into a successful, sustainable and vibrant sector.
Date of publication:
RUFORUM Working document series