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Home News Hoima Youth Farmers Decry High Cost Of Animal Feeds

Hoima Youth Farmers Decry High Cost Of Animal Feeds

by Jacquiline Nakandi
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By Wilson Asiimwe

Several youth groups involved in farming in Hoima district have decried the high cost of animal feeds, saying it is affecting productivity in their enterprises.

Mellan Amanyire, who belongs to a group of youth running Gudie Leisure Farm in Hoima East division, said they are struggling to feed their fish, pigs, chicken and rabbits.

“We have a very big challenge of accessing feeds. Sometimes we make orders and suppliers take long to deliver, which affects our production,” she said.

Amanyire said currently, she has over 450 rabbits at her farm, but feeding them is a challenge.

District fish production

The Hoima fisheries office indicates that the district produces 20 tonnes of fish annually from over 400 farmers spread out in sub-counties such as Buseruka, Kitoba, Buhanika and Butema.

Over 6,000 youth in the district were recently trained by the Gudie Leisure Farm to participate in the production of white meat value chain.

The youth who were trained have since undertaken projects such as fish, poultry, piggery, rabbits and vegetables production.

Amanyire said there was a need for them to be supported to acquire feed mills so that they can produce feeds for their animals.

Julius Amanyire, a fish farmer from Kitoba, said the high cost of feeds has affected the size of fish harvested and revenue from their enterprises.

Most fish produced in the district weigh between 600 and 800grammes, which fetches less money.

“Fish farming is not like any other venture. The moment you miss feeding for about two days, then the fish will lose weight and a farmer incurs losses. Let us be supported to get the feed mills because we have the expertise and the raw materials for making the feeds like maize,” Amanyire said.

Addressing challenges

Sylvia Nalumaga, the deputy Hoima city mayor, who also co-ordinates the youth groups, said they are looking for funds to ensure every parish gets a feed mill to process feeds for their animals and birds.

“We understand the challenges which the youth are facing both in the district and in the city, but since they are organised in their parishes, we are working with different stakeholders to ensure they get feed mills because they were trained on how to process feeds using locally available materials,” Nalumaga said.

She also appealed to the Government to support the youth so that they can access quality feeds for their animals and birds. Most quality fish feeds sold in Uganda are imported from countries such as Netherlands and Israel.

The fisheries and aquaculture division at Food and Agriculture Organisation shows Uganda produces 15,000 tonnes of fish.

This includes production from small-scale, commercial fish farmers and stocked water reservoirs.

Impact of poor feeding

Julius Amanyire, a farmer, said because of poor feeding, fish harvests are below the minimum recommended one kilogramme in weight.

A kilogramme of tilapia fish is sh10,000- sh15,000 at Hoima Central Market. He said several youth have resorted to feeding the fish on local plants, which affects their sizes.

Amanyire appealed to the Government to reduce taxes on fish feeds to enable farmers afford them if the sector is to grow. Julius Tumwesige, a youth from Buhanika sub-county, said he invested in a piggery project.

“Currently, a kilogramme of standard feeds on the market is sold at sh7,000 and daily, I need about 10kg to mix with the maize bran to feed 20 pigs. I cannot afford, so I have resorted to local feeds like sweet potato vines,” he said.

LEAD PHOTO CAPTION: Youth under Gudie Leisure Farm in Hoima East division inspecting some of the projects being undertaken recently. Photo by Wilson Asiimwe

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