By Joshua Kato
The average cost of a good dairy cow is sh6m at the moment. This is a cow that can probably give 15 litres and above, if well catered for.
And as the dairy sector further grows, farmers are eagerly investing in this enterprise. There are now businesspeople who are engaged in this lucrative trade of selling dairy cows.
These mainly buy cattle mostly from free-range ranches in western Uganda and resell them to zero-grazing farmers in the central and other parts of the country.
It is a service that should be appreciated if these people were wholly genuine.
But as many buyers have found out, some of the cows are not fit to be sold, they are poorly transported, diseased with ticks and are not even given the mandatory quarantine before they are transferred to the buyers.
The sellers deliver the cows with no records nor do they issue receipts to the buyers.
The cows, even under good care do not produce the promised ‘20 litres’ per day! Certainly, the farmers investing will get frustrated.
This is a call for regulation of these cattle businessmen. The Government through the National Animal Genetics Resources Centre should set up guidelines for these traders so that buyers do not make losses.
Farms engaged in breeding should also be regulated for quality. Otherwise, there are many zero-grazing farmers who are getting frustrated.