The Minister for Agriculture Animal Husbandry and Fisheries (MAAIF) has instructed the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) to set up a fully-fledged animal feed manufacturing unit.
This, he believes that the unit will produce animal feeds for all the common animals, especially for the smallholder farmers dealing in poultry, piggery, aquaculture and cattle rearing.
“As MAAIF, in our next project, let’s support NARO under that project so that we have an operational feed mill. The current outcry is animal feeds and if we can do it here. The farmers and business people can come here and buy the feeds the way foundation seeds are sold to the private seed companies.
“If you are selling the animal concentrates here and animal feed sellers buy from you, they will sell these concentrates cheaper than the ones imported from Holland,” minister Frank Tumwebaze said.
Tumwebaze told the management of NARO that with the available infrastructure plus the knowledge, it is a question of doing business mathematics and establishing the capital investment and its output.
“We must guarantee food security of the country and animal feed security of the country because when you feed the animals, they can also feed you and your food security is guaranteed,” he said.
The director National Livestock Resources Research Institute (NARO-NaLRRI), Dr Sudick Mugerwa, said the unit which is currently manufacturing feeds for poultry, rabbits, cattle and fish, among others, has the capacity to produce five tonnes of feed daily.
“We are hopeful that with increased support, we can partner with the private sector to produce massively to enhance animal feed security of the country,” he said.
The minister also instructed NARO to set up a fully-fledged knowledge transfer centre where farmers can gather and stay for a night to learn.
“Go and benchmark at Kyankwanzi, you can work with our permanent secretary who was the former director of Kyankwanzi and see how they have managed to build dormitories cheaply. You can also work with our engineering department.
“I would really wish to see in the next three years so MAAIF stops going to hotels and camping here for retreats,” Tumwebaze said.
The minister said a place like Kyankwanzi was ideal because when you are in Serena discussing things like how animal waste can be turned into biogas, they will laugh at you because it is not the ideal environment.