Understanding the dynamics of access to water for beef production and adoption of valley tanks in eight cattle corridor districts of Uganda

The basic resources for beef cattle are pastures and water. It is estimated that for every TLU reared 21 litres of water per day are required. Ninety-five per cent of the beef consumed in Uganda is produced in the cattle corridor. Cattle management systems in these areas were mainly pastoral and agro-pastoral systems. The cattle corridor is in an agro-ecological zone that is characterised by annual periods of moisture stress resulting in inadequate water for cattle. At such times, the cattle keepers in these areas, in the past; would move with their livestock to find pastures and water. This practice has greatly reduced and many have adopted more deliberate improved cattle production practices such as pasture improvement and excavation of valley dams and tanks for ensuring availability of water for their livestock. With the growth of local and external market for beef and the desire to grow capacity of beef value chain actors to tap into this growing market there is need for precise information on the sector to guide decision making and implementation of interventions. This study was done to assess the status of water access for beef production and identify entry points for improvement in eight cattle corridor districts in Uganda. The interventions were to be implemented as part of the “Rangelands, Agro-forestry, and Water Resources Management” (RAWM) component contributing to the EU funded “Market Oriented Beef Improvement Project” (MOBIP). The major findings of the study showed 66% of the cattle keepers accessed water from on-farm valley tanks and that roof top rain water harvesting was almost non-existent. Correlation was observed between land size (p<0.05), cattle herd size (p<0.01), years of farming experience (p<0.05) and membership in a farmer group (p<0.01) were correlated with presence of an on-farm valley tanks. Based on these findings, the MOBIP-RAWM project strengthened the components of underground rain water harvesting tanks, Farmer Field School (FFS) approach and business incubation in the project implementation processes. Keywords: Beef, pasture, rangelands, Uganda
Date of publication: 
Region Focus: 
East Africa
RUFORUM Working document series
Licence conditions: 
Open Access
Access restriction: 
Web resource