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Backyard Farming: The One Cow Per Family Idea Is Viable

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Regine Mulo calls her heifer Mwesigwa (the trusted one). She is right to do so because this black and white cow has managed to keep a smile on her face. It gives me 20 litres of milk each day, she says. It is because of these attributes that Mulo brought her cow to the Annual Farmers Fair in Jinja.

She thinks if every family had a cow, this could improve the standard of living in many homesteads.

She says: “I am sure each family can survive on the one cow as long as they are looking after it very well. My cow has so far given me three calves. The latest one is a male and I intend to sell it at about sh500,000,” she says.

Mulo has managed to reap the fruits from this cow because she looks after it like a child.

At the show, Mulo demonstrated to other farmers how to make a standard cow shade.

The shade must have the main shelter where the cow spends the night, an exercise yard, a milking area, a calf pen and a resting area, she explains.

Mulo says she has been able to look after her family from proceeds from this cow.

President Yoweri Museveni has previously pursued a programme under which every family can have at least one cow.

According to the 2009 livestock census, there are close to 12 million cows across the country, of which less than one million produce milk.

The idea is to raise the number of cows to about 36 million, the President says.

These cows will be able to produce sufficient milk for the various milk processing plants around the country and meet the increasing demand for milk and milk products.

The President says: “Since everyone will be producing milk, the factories will get enough for processing.”

Dr Christopher Kyeswa says: “It is true a family can survive on one cow as long as they are looking after it well.”

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