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You can become a millionaire from cassava farming


Hybrid bananas hold hope for Uganda’s future Issue 01, June-July 2012 Price Ush 5000, Ksh 200, RwF 1500, SDP 8

East Africa

What is slowing Uganda’s

agricultural transformation?

Inside: Start-up farm guides

Farm CHICKEN Farm Guide



For all your requirements,

Visit Ugachick Poultry breeders, Uganda`s leading suppliers of day old Chicks and other poultry products


Start-up guide to POULTRY farming April- June 2012

For details contact Chicken House at Old Kampala or Visit our farm at Magigye along the Gayaza-Zirobwe road



Setting up a FISH FARM

June-July 2012


Start-up guide to DAIRY farming April- June 2012

Quality at a price advantage

Inside... East Africa

Issue 01, June-July 2012 Price Ush 5000, Ksh 200, RwF 1500, SDP 8

26 10



Agriculture funding

One of the major handicaps to Uganda’s agricultural transformation and modernisation is weak budget support. Uganda’s agriculture budget allocation has been 5% and below for the last 25 years, contrary to the Maputo Declaration of member states to commit 10% of their national budgets to agriculture. But beyond the lean budget, how much of the budget money actually reaches the farmer?

Era of hybrid bananas Today banana is the fourth most important crop worldwide after rice, wheat and milk. It is also the fourth biggest export among all agricultural commodities and is the most significant of all fruits, with world trade totalling $2.5 billion annually. Banana is a staple food as well as a source of carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins A, B6 and C, and potassium, phosphorus and calcium in many countries in tropical Africa, America and Asia.

Chemical spray You need chemical spray for crop health just like human beings and livestock, crops need treatment for good health. Crops require chemical spray against insects, pests, weeds and fungal infections.

In fish farming, feeding fish is a normal and major activity. However, what is fed to fish is very important if a farmer is to get good results from fish farming.

New cassava breeds Farmers have a cause to smile despite the destructive Cassava Mosaic. Agro-scientists are breeding high yielding and disease resistant cassava varieties as well as rejuvenating traditional species.


GUIDE Start-up guide to POULTRY farming Start-up guide to DAIRY farming Start-up guide to FISH farming


Fish rearing


Agro-technology Agriculture forms the heart and blood of Uganda’s economy. The agriculture sector faced hard times in the past years due to the lack of infrastructure, lack of use of scientific methods and agricultural technologies and the deficiency of markets. However, things have improved in the agriculture sector in recent times.


Farmers’ platform for



he East African Agribusiness magazine is a publication focusing on agriculture and agricultural modernisation. It aims at providing informative and educative content to guide farmers on how to increase production, farm productivity and improve quality of crop and livertsock products as a penultimate stage towards transforming agriculture. It’s an unrivalled platform for information and knowledge sharing to support transformation of agriculture from subsistence to commercial farming or small and medium scale to large scale production, agro-processing and marketing whose ultimate objective is to achieve food security, increased earnings and poverty alleviation at household and national level. It seeks to stand out as an authoritative communication m, Our mission is to infor forum for the educate farmers and agriculture highlight outstanding sector. achievements, gaps This is the e and challenges in th maiden agriculture sector edition of the e and provide guidanc East African r cto se for further Agribusiness development. which will be published every two months and circulated in Uganda and the East African region. Our mission is to inform, educate farmers and highlight outstanding achievements, gaps and challenges in the agriculture sector and provide guidance for further sector development.


June-July 2012

The magazine will regularly publish corporate profiles, supplements and executive interviews to give readers a broader picture of the agriculture sector. Our target audience is the millions of stakeholders in the sector right from the farmers, traders, processors, exporters, agro-equipment dealers/ suppliers, professionals in agriculture, manufacturers of agro-materials for crops and livestock, policy makers and consumers. The publication will offer advertising opportunities, through which the stakeholders can advertise their products and services at cost-effective rates. The publication will offer various types of ads including, but not limited to; Button adverts, Classifieds, Text-based adverts with small graphics, Display adverts, Corporate Profiles and Supplements. With a highly qualified and professional editorial team, the publishers promise to provide the readers with the best industry stories and analysis. Copies of the magazine will be available in supermarkets, chain stores and street outlets in Uganda and through subscription by groups, organisations and individuals. The public is encouraged to subscribe to ensure they don’t miss an issue. We invite all stakeholders and readers to contribute relevant information, articles and views on agriculture and the magazine’s content for enhancement of knowledge sharing to help us improve our product for reader satisfaction. Our gratitude goes to all those who have supported or will support this noble initiative to make the publication of this magazine possible.


You can become a millionaire from cassava farming


Hybrid bananas hold hope for Uganda’s future Issue 01, June-July 2012 Price Ush 5000, Ksh 200, RwF 1500, SDP 8

East Africa

What is slowing Uganda’s

agricultur al transformation?

Inside: Start-up farm guides

Farm CHICKEN Farm Guide Visit Ugachick Poultry breeders, Uganda`s leading suppliers of day old Chicks and other poultry products

For details contact Chicken House at Old Kampala

April- June 2012

or Visit our farm at Magigye along the Gayaza-Zirobwe road



For all your



Start-up guide to POULTRY farming



Setting up a FISH FARM

June-July 2012


Start-up guide to DAIRY farming April- June 2012

Team Managing Director Jeniffer Nalubega Consulting Editor Patrick Matsiko wa Mucoori Design & Layout Ronny Kahuma Photographer Philip Opio Consultant Godrick Dambyo




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News Briefs

Watermelon intercropping mitigates drought

A fish rearing system on Matugga-Semuto Road.

Govt completes policy on fish farming Fish farming is increasingly becoming a popular activity in Uganda. However it is still limited to a few farmers mainly due to lack of natural water habitats or wetlands where to breed and rear fish. The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries has completed a draft of a new policy that promotes fish farming through establishment of aquaculture parks. The policy is intended to reverse the dwindling fish stocks that once made Uganda a strong fish-exporting country. The government will select areas suitable for fish farming and acquire the sites for concentrated production. Assistant Commissioner of Fisheries in the Agriculture Ministry Jackson Wadanya says fish farming can make Uganda a top fish-

exporting country in Africa. Wadanya, however, points out that the industry lacks investor-friendly policies. Some of the policies affecting fishing include: the Fish Act 2000, water policy, environment management policy and implementation of public-private sector partnerships. The fish industry has been hit by over-fishing and illegal fishing gear which catches immature fish. Yet the penalties for such actions are laughable. The ministry is working out harsh penalties against illegal fishing activities. Fishermen will require licences. The Uganda Investment Authority will establish the aquaculture parks which will be open to everyone upon fulfilling the requirements.

China-Africa agric trade hits $5bn in 2012 China’s trade with Africa in agricultural products yielded $4.78bn last year. The volume of trade increased by 40.2% above the 2010 statistics and was seven times that of 2001. China exported $2.45bn in agricultural products to African countries in


June-July 2012

2011, up 35.7% and imports increased 45.2% to reach $2.33bn, the China Daily reported on May 20, 2012. China is reportedly Africa’s largest trading partner as bilateral trade value exceeded $160bn in 2011.

Watermelon is not only an edible fruit but also a crop booster. An agricultural research conducted in two water-stressed areas in Mozambique has established that watermelon is a good companion crop for intercropping with grain to mitigate the risk of total crop failure due to drought. The findings of the research, published in “Experimental Agriculture” journal, show that although the yield of each crop falls, the overall productivity of the land increases by 13 per cent. The research done by Agriculture Research Institute of Mozambique says intercropping is a common practice in tropical developing countries, but observes that most research has gone into intercropping with legumes due to their ability to fix nitrogen into the soil. Watermelon intercropping has the advantage of increasing canopy coverage, which reduces water loss and weeds. Besides, it provides insurance in case of complete crop failure due to pests or disease.

Rwanda launches agro-research centre

Rwandan Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi has launched China-Rwanda Agriculture Technology Demonstration Centre at Rubona in Huye district. The centre will research into new technology of growing paddy rice, up-land rice, mushrooms and soil and water conservation. The research is a collaboration between the governments of Rwanda and China.

Uganda to export fresh matooke to USA

Uganda will soon start exporting fresh peeled plantain bananas – matooke – to the United States of America under the banana value chain project. The $2m (about Shs5bn) project funded by Danish Development Agency will be

GDP composition by sector

Agriculture: 21.8% Industry: 26.1% Services: 52.1% (2011 est.) Labor force: 16.02 million (2011 est.) Labor force - by occupation: Agriculture: 82% GDP (purchasing power parity): $45.9 billion (2011 est.) Country comparison to the world: 95 $43.15bn (2010 est.) $41bn (2009 est.) (data are in 2011 US dollars) GDP - real growth rate: 6.4% (2011 est.) Country comparison to the world: 37 5.2% (2010 est.) 7.2% (2009 est.) GDP - per capita: $1,300 (2011 est.) Country comparison to the world: 204 (data are in 2011 US dollars) (Source 2012 CIA World Factbook & other sources)

implemented under the Uganda Industrial Research Institute. “Under the new arrangements, quality matooke will be peeled and packed for export to the United States and other European countries. The project is awaiting arrival

of machines that will enhance quality of exports,” said Godfrey Atuheire the winner of the Danida grant. He said that the project will also include the production of packaging bags made in an environmentally sustainable way. The banana bags will be made from banana, rice, sorghum, bamboo fibres, maize, sisal and wheat. The bag making machine has already been ordered from India. Herbert Kabafunzaki, the Chief Executive Officer of Berteeen Business Systems and a local councillor from Wakiso district, said the projects will create employment for the hundreds of jobless youth. “I hail UIRI for training youths, some from as far as Kabale where they have left their families.” He said the solution to unemployment does not squarely rest on the shoulders of government. “Entrepreneurship is the way to go. It is the means of improvement of man’s livelihood.”

Key Upcoming events Date


20th – 23rd June

Netherlands-African Business Council (NABC) Soroti trade mission. The main focus is on food security (agriculture and horticulture)

21st – 22nd June

Northern Region Market Information NGEZARDI symposium by APF Market Information working group of 13 organisations led by FIT Uganda Limited ( INFOTRADE) and AgriNet) in partnership with FAO and CORONET

21-22 June

Agribusiness Expo focusing on improved livelihoods through enhancing access to markets.

Ngetta Zonal Agricultural Research & Development Institute, Lira.

July 23rd – 29th

The Source of the Nile National Agricultural show

Jinja Agricultural Show Ground

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2008 Year



What is slowing Uganda’s % growth by sector






Tapping into opportunities to drive production and markets Coffee is a good benchmark. The world’s top five leading exporters of coffee between 2005 and 2009 were Brazil, Vietnam, Germany, Colombia, Switzerland and Belgium. The list is dominated by European countries which do not produce coffee; rather they are re-exporters of the product. Details are given in the graph on page 8.


June-July 2012





Water & Environment: 3.6%

By Morrison Rwakakamba ne of the major handicaps to Uganda’s agricultural transformation and modernisation is weak budget support. Uganda’s agriculture budget allocation has been 5% and below for the last 25 years as the pie-chart (right) illustrates. This is contrary to the Maputo Declaration of the member states to commit 10% of their annual government budgets to agriculture. But looking deeper, the problem stretches beyond the lean budget support to how the money is utilised. How much money released by the government actually reaches the farmer? It’s prudent to increase sector funding, but the most critical thing is to make the small available budget work. If we can’t work with a small budget, how will we work with a big one? Stories, analyses and narratives in the past 25 years have already been articulated sufficiently. Now we must begin concrete actions on changing the agricultural sector in Uganda from subsistence and raw-product system to modern and commercial and value addition-based production. There are pointers which will transform agriculture.


Interest Payment Due: 4.9%

Justice, law and Order 4.2%

Accountability 0.9% Tourism, Trade & Industry 0.7%

Agriculture 0.5%

Social development 0.5% Lands, Housing & Urban Development 0.2%

Energy & Mineral Dev’t 5.6%

ICT 0.2%

Budget allocation to agriculture 2010/2011 The key lesson from the above illustration is that by investing to raise value-addition and standards capability for coffee exports, Uganda can level with leading coffee exporters like Germany, Belgium and Switzerland- EU countries that do not produce coffee yet remain premier exporters because of their advanced value addition and standards regime. By upgrading exports to Sudan, Poland and China, and exploring other markets, Uganda’s coffee export performance will swell. This strategy focuses on domestic value addition, including compliance with standards for coffee exports as a necessary critical path for Uganda’s competitive advantage. The motivating fact is that the consumption of coffee is expected to constantly be

greater than production, at least until 2020. This is well articulated in the graph on page 8. Therefore the wise choice is to increase the production and quality of Ugandan coffee. Promulgate a national agriculture policy. In order to ensure policy coherence and avoidance of potential policy distortions, the relationship between PFA, PMA, RDS and other agricultural modernisation initiatives and the roles played by each should be clearly defined, differentiated and synergised. Currently, the planning and implementation of agricultural projects is scattered over various ministries, agencies and political offices. The smallholder farmers don’t know where to go for services or guidance. There must be a one-stop


A couple picks coffee at their family garden in Luwero District. centre for agricultural solutions. Harness the IT Dividend. Uganda liberalised the telecommunication sector thereby opening the market to both public and private investors. This bold step, coupled with the advent of mobile telephony, greatly improved telecommunication in the country. Internet usage is also growing rapidly, standing at 3,200,000 users in a population of 33 million people while 10.4 million are connected on mobile phones. Coupled with 228 FM stations, these are huge platforms for information flow necessary to increase agricultural production and market efficiency. Young urban farmers around Kampala are now using facebook to market eggs and vegetables. State agencies and private sector should accentuate this opportunity. The digital gap Certificate Certificate of analysis from a recognised laboratory Phyto sanitary certificate Fumigation certificate Certificate of Origin (EAC/ COMESA) Certificate of conformity

in rural areas should be narrowed. Where rural electrification agency has succeeded, ICT centres should be set up to provide timely information to farming communities and other chain actors. The private sector can take a leading role in this. Revive and revitalise cooperatives. The cooperatives will organise, provide credit, sale of inputs, market insurance and education services to smallholder farmers. The co-operative law in place does not adequately address some of the emerging issues within the Co-operative Movement. The 2008 SACCO Bill which was passed by cabinet but is pending in parliament should be concluded. A similar law, SACCO Societies Act 2007, has already been enacted by parliament in Kenya. Strengthened cooperatives can form a

Access points Uganda Bureau of Standards and Chemipher (U) Ltd, Acacia road, Kansanga off Gaba road Plant Health Services (Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries) Issued by firms registered by Agricultural Chemicals Board Issued by Uganda Export Promotion Board and until 2010 by the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry at Shs3000 Issued by Uganda Bureau of Standards after the consignment has been cleared for quality ready for export.

bank for its farmer members. This question can be resolved by a strong cooperative movement. Provide Business Development Services (BDS) subsidy for smallholder farmers. The BDS dealing with information, training and other business services should be subsidised to increase the range of services available to smallholder farmers and the outreach to all parts of Uganda. Strengthening and expanding entrepreneurship and small farmer enterprises management programmes and their outreach, especially to the women in rural areas will create potential and power of smallholder farmers. How many farmers in Uganda attempt to calculate their production costs – to determine appropriate price for their produce – or rather their margins? Without this, farmers will never have capacity to govern markets. Efficiency of agencies like Enterprise Uganda should be evaluated. If found effective, Enterprise Uganda and other groups involved in business development services should be subsidized to deepen entrepreneurship skills at the farm level. Urgently undertake to remove inhibitive market access barriers that are internally instituted while working with the rest of the member states in the East African community to remove those externally imposed. For example, the laws between the central and local governments of Uganda should be harmonized, so that they are mutually reinforcing. For example, why should small exporters have to go through alternate access points to acquire formal certification to export a few kilos of maize into Kenya? Can’t we have a central access point at Busia border post for a one-stop documentation centre? The table below shows the diverse centres and conditions an exporting farmer has to go through; Harness Private –Private and Public –Private partnerships to harness farmer extension. Less than 14% farmers in Uganda see an extension worker. Under NAADS regime, there are only 1600 extension workers mandated to serve 4,000, 000 million farmer households in Uganda. This is the ratio of 1: 2500 farmer households. Is this practical? How many days will a NAADS extension worker need to reach 2500 households? We have 360 days in a year. If a NAADS extension worker was

June-July 2012


analysis 180




million bags




Source: ITC, Trade Map, 2011



working 7 days a week, it would take him 6.9 years to do just one round visit to farmer households. NAADS should urgently tap into the pool of Extension Link farmers that were trained by Uganda National Farmers Federation (UNFFE) all over Uganda in animal husbandry and agronomic practices. This will bring down the current expansive farmer-extension worker ratio and close the current information gap at the farm level. There are other private sector companies and Civil Society Organisations like VEDCO and PELUM that have trained and worked with a cartel of extension workers. Government should coordinate and placate them for a national farmer extension services response. Crop and Livestock ‘wilts’ should be



Total production

Total consumption

Production trend

urgently curtailed: The 31% decline in coffee exports in 2010 is mainly attributed to coffee wilt. Other crop and animal diseases like banana wilt, cassava streak virus disease, New Castle fever in poultry, pneumonia in cattle, African swine fever in pigs etc are all big issues affecting agriculture performance. Ugandan scientists should benchmark the story of Ethiopia to manage banana bacteria wilt. The current sanitary approaches for containing banana wilt are unreliable and

High 2.4%

Consumption 2%

Low 1.5%

labour intensive and unsustainable. This wilt hit Ethiopia in 1973. It was contained. We can learn a lot from them. Investment in research and eradication of diseases is important for re-engineering the agriculture sector. Research should integrate farmers from inception to the end. If new coffee plantlets, new bean varieties are to succeed, farmers must be fully involved in the process of their development or at least in initial stages to provide their own perspective and articulate their research needs.


Bacterial Wilt: Spread and control


t is transmitted in two major ways: On contaminated cutting tools wounding agents such as pangas, hoes, de-leafers and any other thing (living or non-living) that injures the plant thereby allowing the disease to penetrate it. This is the main means of transmission in areas where farmers use various tools that injure banana plant parts as they work. The good agronomic practices of removing male buds (Empumumpu), excess suckers and excess leaves aid spreading of the disease. Therefore, the main agents spreading the disease in such a situation, are the farmers. However, many of them are unaware of this fact. The easiest way to control the disease in this case is to sensitise farmers on how farm tools facilitate disease spread and to guide them on how to protect their plantations. The second main means of transmission is by animals (insects) which visit banana male buds (emikankaana, Empumumpu) to feed on sap that oozes out thereby moving bacteria from infected to un-infected bananas.

Control measures

Observe hygiene of plants as is done in humans and livestock to control bacterial infections. Farmers need to observe the following elements: Avoiding spreading the disease with contaminated tools. Remember infected plants may not show disease signs between 14-90 days. The easiest way to prevent spreading the disease from such plants to the rest


June-July 2012

of the plantation is for farmers to stop using tools in their plantations for about 3-6 months (except when clearing out diseased plants) whenever they see the disease in their plantations Removal of male buds (Emikankana, Empumumpu) from the young banana bunch using a forked stick halts disease spread by insects. The farmer must not use a cutting tool as this would spread the disease. This element should be observed before and after seeing the disease in your plantation to protect unaffected flowered plants. Clear out all infected plants to remove the source of inoculum (disease causing organisms) from the garden. Farmers are advised to remove male buds using forked stick to stop spread by stingless bees. Healthy looking plants could actually be infected and pass on the disease to un-infected plants via tools. Therefore suspend pruning, ploughing and de-leafing until you have not seen an infected plant for three - six months. Daily monitoring and removal of diseased plants is important to stop the spread. Cows and goats should not be allowed to pass through banana plantations. Community should make bye-laws to punish errant farmers who refuse to implement recommended control measures. Farmers should be sensitised about the mechanisms of spread and the measures that can be taken to control the disease.


You can become a millionaire from

CASSAVA FARMING By Peter Wamboga-Mugirya


assava, a common tuber [root] crop abundant in Uganda, possesses a huge potential to become a multi-billion dollar incomegenerator from value-added industrial products, services and exports, more than any other crop on the national profile can provide. Scientists and economists say Thailand and Vietnam, have transformed their economies via well-structured national strategies for cassava industrialisation — a route they recommend Uganda should follow. Dr Anton Bua, Head of National Cassava Research Programme under the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), says cassava is used in production of ethanol which runs vehicle engines, a binding material in pharmaceuticals, starch for textiles and paper industries, sugars A farmer attends to his improved cassava varieties in the central region. for breweries and production of softculture to develop a comprehensive plan to earns billions of dollars,” said Ebong, a drinks and high nutrient soups especially livestock scientist and consultant with prioritise cassava for industrialisation. used in hotels. Rwanda’s National Agricultural Research A Kigali-based Ugandan Agricultural “At a policy level, cassava has been Institute (INERA). Researcher, Dr Cyprian Ebong reinforces included on the Development Strategy and Cassava is among the four crops that Bua’s view. “We need to think big and get Investment Plan (DSIP) of the Ministry of the Eastern African governments (Ethiothe economic planners design a national Agriculture as a key commodity for food pia, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania) have cassava industrialisation programme, security. But there’s no definite national identified for food security and sub-regional under which unskilled labour would be strategy to fully stretch this crop across the development. “That’s why it is on the World engaged in growing the crop, harvesting, value chain for national development,” Bua Bank-funded Eastern African Agricultural primary processing and transportation, added. Productivity Project (EAAPP) and Uganda while skilled labour would produce starch, Today, cassava ranks second in area has been selected to host the cassava use cassava in confectionaries/bakerplanted on 0.5 million hectares after maize component of EAAPP. The National Crops ies, produce ethanol and apply cassava in Uganda, and accounts for 11% of all Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) is in textiles and pharmaceutical factories,” crops grown. This vegetatively-propagated Africa’s designated centre of excellence in says Ebong. He cites Thailand which has crop yields up to 5.4 million metric tonnes cassava research,” Ebong added. reaped huge dividends from cassava. annually. Under EAAPP, Kenya selected dairy; “It’s amazing, how they developed a According to NARO, Uganda is a high Tanzania rice and Ethiopia, wheat as crops vibrant cassava industrialisation system – per-capita cassava consumption country, and agro-industries for strategic developlinking research to extension, production where 75% of all farm-households grow it. ment, especially to curb food insecurity and utilisation (industry). They produce “Cassava is particularly popular because and malnutrition. human foods; animal and poultry feeds; of its ease to cultivate and tolerance to low Dr Bua recalls how Uganda led the world and soups from cassava. Most of these rainfall and poor soils,” says Bua. in cassava utilisation in the 60s, with her are exported to European, North American He calls on the National Planning Authorstarch factory in Lira from which Thais and and other Asian countries, and Thailand ity, NARO, NAADS and the ministry of Agri-

June-July 2012



Vietnamese in 1967 learnt to utilise the crop. “Today cassava is a multi-billion industrial crop in the two countries, providing huge employment and quality products,” Bua says.

Current cassava farm-productivity levels

NaCRRI has developed improved cassava varieties that have been adopted by farmers across many parts of Uganda. Farmers in West Nile—one of the largestcassava growing, trading and consumption areas in Uganda—have identified and selected the tropical manihot esculanta (TME) 14 and 204 and 00067 cassava varieties as their best food and cash crops. Dr Julius Mukalazi, Director for Research at Abi-Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute in Arua (AbiZARDI), says early 2003 they adapted, multiplied and distributed TME 14, 204 and 00067 improved varieties from NaCRRI, to the West Nile area. “For the last nine years, these varieties have spread rapidly across West Nile because of the unique traits and benefits of drought-tolerance, higher yields and contribution to income-generation,” Mukalazi says. He says TME 204 variety yields 17-25 metric tonnes per acre; TME 14 (14-22 metric tonnes per acre); while 4271 (NASE 14) gives 17-26 metric tonnes per acre, and 2961 variety yields 16-23 metric tonnes

an acre. Florence Olama, in Panyango Subcounty, Nebbi District and another John Oboma based in Adjumani—both smallholder cassava farmers — confirm that TME 204 is early-maturing, and more drought-tolerant than the traditional varieties. “We got TME 204 from AbiZARDI in 2006 and it is also high-yielding, sweeter and therefore liked by buyers (consumers),” says Olama. “TME 204 is also taller in height than traditional types, hence offers larger space for more cuttings (seed) and this means additional money for farmers who not only sell tubers but also cuttings to other farmers. We’ve identified it as more tolerant to cassava-mosaic and brown streak diseases,” says Mukalazi. Latest varieties to be released by NARO in May 2011, were six new types: NASE 14 to NASE 19 developed in NaCRRI’s breeding programme since 2003. Dr Titus Alicai, a researcher in the National Cassava programme, says the new varieties yield between 25-60 tonnes per hectare.  “All the new varieties were tested widely across Uganda before official release. Different agro-ecological regions were used for testing for adaptability. These include Arua, Lira, Hoima, Wakiso, Nakasongola, Luwero, Masindi, Kumi, Busia, Kiboga, Budaka, Mukono and Kamuli.” Alicai says.

Testing is also done with farmers on their fields under their own management. Dr Baguma, a senior scientist at NaCRRI, says these new varieties (NASEs and TMEs) are being crossed with traditional landraces like Bukalasa, ebwanateraka, aladuladu and bawo (locally-adapted and farmer-preferred) to introduce pest and disease resistance.

Scientists rejuvenate disappearing INDIGENOUS CASSAVA species By Lominda Afedraru


assava farmers and consumers have a cause to smile despite the obnoxious cassava mosaic disease that has hurt the crop yields over the years. Agro-scientists are breeding new high yielding and disease resistant cassava varieties as well as rejuvenating traditional species like Ebwanateraka, which are fast disappearing following the spread of the cassava virus in Uganda and


June-July 2012

the region. The Ebwanataraka cassava variety was once widely cultivated in Uganda but farmers have abandoned it because of its vulnerability to the Cassava Mosaic and Cassava Brown Streak viruses. Another cassava type to be rejuvenated is the TME204 variety. Farmers have adopted the conventionally bread cassava varieties called Nase1 to 19 released by crop scientists at the National Crop Resources Research Institute

(NaCRRI) because they are resistant to Cassava Mosaic virus and tolerant to Cassava Brown Streak virus.However a team of crop scientists from NaCRRI who have been breeding various cassava varieties using biotechnology have now reached the product development stage where they are concentrating on crossing genes from other varieties to Ebwanateraka and TME204. According to Dr Titus Alicia, the lead researcher, his team has been crossing


A woman spreads crushed cassava for drying at her home in Nebbi District. One of the leading cassava growers in Kabarole district, Kakiza Amooti Isingoma, has over 300 acres. “I mainly have 2961 and 4271 new NASE (Namulonge) varieties. Cassava is good business,” says Isingoma. Alicai says maturity period of the NASE cassava varieties is 12 months. “The high

yields will allow farmers to save part of their harvest for sale in the market. Also, many industries are targeting to use cassava as raw material in the manufacture of beer, ethanol, starch, confectionaries, animalfeeds and pharmaceuticals.  On how much Uganda uses fertilizers to boost cassava outputs, Alicai told the

over 10 cassava varieties in a bid to come up with species that are resistant to the two viruses. The team has for the last six years been crossing genes from various local varieties to those that were imported from Tanzania and Colombia. The breeding process involved cutting part of the male flower from the foreign cassava which is crossed to the female flower of the local variety. About 1,000 local varieties have been screened and crossed thereby producing six varieties that are used for breeding during g the product development process. Next year, Dr Alicai, the team will start testing the two varieties in various locations including Kenya in a bid to come up with

a product suitable to various geographical locations. Some of the identified locations include Serere in eastern Uganda, Namulonge in central Uganda, Alupe in western Kenya and Mutwapa in Mombasa, Kenya. Uganda’s State Minister for Trade and Industry, James Mutende, recently urged scientists to carry out research on crops that contribute to economic development. “I do appreciate efforts of scientists in coming up with cassava varieties that are resistant to viruses. But I would like to urge you scientists to conduct research on crops such as sugarcane which is a neglected species,” he said. He said Uganda’s sugarcane varieties are low yielding because they are of poor

East African Agribusiness: “There’s virtually no use of mineral fertilizers or soil amendments [manure] in cassava production by Ugandans. Fertilizer-use will definitely improve cassava production but more knowledge still needs to be generated on variety and location-specific fertilizer requirements for cassava. This will be important in transforming cassava into a major commercial crop.” He says all the new varieties are highly resistant to CMD and tolerant to CBSD. Today, cassava is a major source of food and income for Africa and the second most important staple after maize. The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) has identified it under its Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) to increase food supply, reduce hunger and improve responses to emergency food crises. Alicai is a virologist at NaCCRI and a researcher in the Virus Resistant Cassava for Africa (VIRCA), a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded project which NaCRRI jointly implements with the US-based Donald Danforth Plant Science Centre (DDPSC). VIRCA targets transformation of farmer preferred varieties although the initial transformation has been made on the Easy to Transform cultivar 60444 from Nigeria. Other plans are to improve the root nutritional quality of cassava with protein and beta-carotene contents.

quality. He called for research on sugarcane in order to come up with improved high yielding varieties. Cassava is the second most consumed crop in Africa, the first being maize. It produces 15 to 24 million tonnes per annum reaping between $16 billion to $25 billion annually. Ugandan farmers lose about 30 million tonnes of cassava to disease burden annually. Dr Alicai estimates that annually viruses are causing loss of $60 million the government is supposed to earn from cassava. Farmers especially in Mukono and Luwero districts have been hard hit by huge losses as result of cassava Brown Streak disease.

June-July 2012


Food Security

Soil Testing : Key for modern agriculture S

oil testing is one of the most important steps to be undertaken before going for any commercial or general farming. In Uganda the soils are known to be sufficiently fertile to raise bountiful crops. Quality of soil affects crop growth and yields. Knowing the type of soil in the selected garden is therefore vital for successful farming and higher yields from the cultivated acreage. The decrease in crop yields per hectare is due to the declining fertility status of the soil as a result of excessive nutrient mining, soil erosion and changes in soil chemistry over time. Uganda’s soils were last mapped in 1950. It has been established that an integrated nutrient management system that includes a combination of organic, inorganic and biological nutrients is the best for farming. Soil testing corrects soil deficiencies and also determines the type of chemical nutrients and quantities to be applied in soil. Farmers often ignore the importance of soil testing. There is urgent need to reverse this situation and the following should be done: ■■ Private sector to come forward to popularise soil testing. ■■ Government machinery to take a proactive effort to educate farmers the benefit of


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soil testing and also provide better inputs for higher yields. ■■ Setting up laboratories to check primary plant nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium and secondary nutrients: sulphur, calcium and magnesium; including minor nutrients such as iron, manganese, copper, zinc, boron, molybdenum and chlorine. Soil testing helps farmers know the fertility status of the soil, type of crops which can yield well in a given piece of land and enables them know the right dosage of fertilisers to use. Soil testing also helps farmers know whether the soils are acidic, basic or neu-

Soil testing corrects soil deficiencies and also determines the type of chemical nutrients and quantities to be applied in soil. Farmers often ignore the importance of soil testing.

tral for them to respond appropriately. They are also able to remove deficiencies of particular elements for profitable growing.

Steps to collect representative soil sample ■■ Start with a trowel and a bucket. Be sure neither is rusty or made of galvanised metal, which could affect the results. ■■ Avoid taking samples from beneath the tree or places where organic manures (cow dung) are placed. ■■ Scrape leaf liter from the soil surface. Dig out a wedge of soil about 6 to 8 inches deep, and set this wedge aside. Then dig out a half-inch piece of soil from the hole and pour it into your bucket. ■■ Repeat step 2 at least several times in different parts of the field or plot so that the soil sample represents your whole plot when mixed. ■■ Use your trowel to mix the soil together thoroughly. ■■ Fill the soil sample bag or container with the mixed soil, complete the paperwork and deposit it at the soil testing lab.Provide details of the crop to be grown in the coming season so as to get proper advice on the right fertilser doses. Ideally about 1kg soil sample is sufficient for the testing.



Start-up guide to DAIRY farming June-July 2012


The Poultry Farm

Dairy farming

Important steps for beginners

The dairy industry has taken significant strides since the liberalisation of the sub-sector. Since the Uganda Dairy Corporation monopoly by the state ended and new players entered the industry, dairy production and processing have increased. Milk production grew from about 360m litres in 1991 to about 1.5bn litres by 2009. Dairy exports have also increased. Many Ugandans want to start dairy farming but lack some important information to guide them. Below are some of the things one needs to consider to have a successful farm. Education: Read a lot about dairy farming; basic dairy cow management. This information is easily available in government departments as well as development partners and agricultural shows. Most universities with agriculture faculties or programmes have dairy specialists in their departments. They major in animal science with an emphasis on dairy production. They can offer useful information on dairy farming. Education is not for the entrepreneur alone, include your workers as well. Contacts: Maintain networks with other farmers. This will enhance your confidence and assures you of friends you can run to in case of a problem. Friends


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will help you learn tips on pastures, livestock breeds, equipment and others. They even bring you in contact with specialised personnel like veterinarians, suppliers and share with you feed formulas. Prudence: Start with foundation cows because high-end cows are very susceptible to slight changes in the environment. They are not good for experimenting and poor management can put you in debt. Planning: Choose your cow’s semen based on your breeding plans and characteristics of heifers you want, but not on cost. Cheap is always expensive in the long run.

Be vigilant: Good cattle farmers are calm and gentle in their behaviour towards their animals. If you are keen, you can easily detect changes in behaviour. For example, slight change in appearance, temperament, production or even restlessness in a cow is a reason to investigate. Try to find out what could be wrong and never blame the animal. Good cattle farmers do not shout at or beat their animals. They observe their animals well and try to understand them.

Facing the daily challenges

Calves: A heifer calf is a dairy farmer’s future cow. Most farmers concentrate on

The Poultry Farm

from recognised and established farms whose records of production have been tested and approved. This also applies to commercial feeds. Not all dairy meal is good dairy meal. Labour: Dairy farming is labour intensive, especially zero-grazing. Dairy farms employ the services of skilled or unskilled workers. Care should be exercised while employing workers, but even more when sacking workers. Changing workers every now and again will affect your cow’s performance. A succession strategy can be used when retiring workers; employ another when the one to be retired is still in employment. This ensures a smooth transition is maintained. Technology: Employ the latest technology available. However, do not let technology manage your farm alone. Computer software, mobile phones, digital cameras, are helpful but your regular presence is irreplaceable with anything. Patience: Think long term. A cow takes 278 days to calf and more than 20 months for a heifer to mature for serving. Patience and determination are key. Do not be tempted to take short-cuts.

Understand the area for the dairy farm

the lactating cow, since they give immediate cash and forget to cultivate future cash. Calves management therefore is the key to sustainable and steady profitability into the future. Ensure that you do not sell all the milk and in the result the calf suffers malnutrition and starvation. Feeds: Feeds come from different sources and different areas. If you depend on feed from outside your area, then be careful. These feeds can be dangerous to your animals. Most feeds harvested in national parks and roadsides may have ticks and other pests. Hay harvested in marshy areas has liver flukes. It is advisable that you buy hay

Suitable environment Two important factors determine where to set up your dairy farm: Availability of reliable rain for feeds and water; good soil for feed establishment. Understand the cycle of seasons so that you can know when to conserve fodder during periods of high supply. Otherwise your animals will suffer in times of drought. Find out which livestock diseases are common in your area, so that you can vaccinate your animals against them. Infrastructure. You need good weather roads to transport your milk to the market easily; reliable market for your milk and access to cooling facilities. Access to reliable veterinary personnel; using qualified personnel to attend to your animals are all important ingredients of successful dairy farming. Experience shows that

qualified personnel do not charge very high fees as quacks do.

Feeding the cow A cow’s milk productivity is equal to a proper feeding programme. Proper feeding is not just filling a cow’s stomach with feed. On average a Friesian cow takes up to 70kgs of feed per day. That does not mean 70kgs of hay or silage but a balanced diet. Water is life and so it is to a dairy cow. You are better off with enough clean water and little food than a lot of good feeds with no or bad water. Don’t beat your animals if you want them to be calm.

Resources, skills & experience Lastly, you don’t have to be brought up in a farming family, be a veterinarian or own huge chunks of land to be a successful farmer. You need to know how well your experience, financial resources, and farming support networks can help you meet your goals. Find ways to gain the skills and resources necessary to stay in business. Records are vital for a dairy farmer: A serious farmer should prepare the following basic records: Health records: This is to capture basic health history of your cow, what medicine was administered or which vet attended to the animal. Remember, this vital information can help you seek redress should your cow die out of the vet’s negligence. Breeding Records: This captures the cow’s bio data such as birth, insemination and will tell when to dispose of the cow. A cow should calf once a year. Productions records: This captures milk produce per cow per day. It is recommended that a cow be milked three times a day. Sum up the total daily milk production and record it. These records help you market your cow when you want to dispose it. It’s also vital for government statistical purposes.

June-July 2012


The Poultry Farm


Since 1967, , Fresh Dairy has empowered the Ugandan farmer with quality education on the best farming practices. This has enabled us to provide more than fourteen countries with the freshest taste and nourishment from milk produced by the best livestock in the region. Over the years, this relationship has played a great role in building the dairy industry to what it is today. Thank you, Uganda. We shall always stay committed to this great relationship.


June-July 2012

Plot 49, 53/55 Fifth Street, Industrial Area, P.O. Box 7078 Kampala,Uganda.Tel: +256 417 101300, +256 414 341172/258755 Fax: +256 414 230942, Email:,


Dairy farming is growing But farmers need information on livestock management 25 percent. The various dairy development programmes by the government and development partners, which have led to rearing of improved cattle breeds with higher milk yields explain this growth in milk production. However this should be taken with caution as this perceived growth may also be due to the fact that there are now more formal milk processing or marketing centres, where data is easily collected, unlike in the past when there used to be only Dairy Corporation in the whole country. The total milk collection centres in Uganda are 98, bulking about 445,000 litres per day (about 30% of the collectible milk). There are at least over 10 large and small dairy processors in Uganda, but most of them are in south-western, the largest milk producing region and the Central region with aggregate installed

processing capacity of about 389,000 litres every day. The main products include yoghurt, cheese, pasteurized milk, ghee, UHT milk, powdered milk, ice cream and butter. There are also about 100 smallscale investors processing between 100 and 500 litres of milk every day into yoghurt, cheese,ghee, boiled and cooled milk and others. According to Dairy Development Authority, about 70% (1.05 billion litres) of the milk produced is sold commercially and the other 30% is consumed at household. Uganda has more daily potential than her regional counterparts mainly because of her favourable climate and dairy improvement programmes started by the government and the donors. Majority of the countries in the region often suffer deficits in milk production due to weather hazards. Uganda has

Percentage Distribution of Cattle by region 25.0 21.7


21.8 19.8




airy is one of the top sectors with potential to drive the country’s economy, food security and foreign exchange earnings and contribute greatly to transformation of Uganda from a poor to middle income country. The favourable temperatures and rainfall ensure abundant availability of green pastures for livestock. This hands Uganda a great potential to produce substantial quantities of dairy products such as powdered milk, UHT milk, pasteurized milk, cheese and yoghurt for both the domestic market and export markets in the region and beyond. Uganda’s cattle stock strength was estimated at 11.4 million by 2009, according to the Uganda National Bureau of Statistics. According to current estimates, Uganda now produces 1.5 billion litres of milk annually, 30% of which is consumed at home while 70% is sold. About 85% of the milk which goes to the market annually is sold informally as raw milk. By July 2009, this was valued at about $160m. Only about 15 % of the marketed milk is sold through the formal marketing channel as processed milk and value added dairy products. This accounted for $108m by 2009. Although most of milk is consumed locally, some of it especially the processed milk and other value added dairy products are exported to the Great Lakes region and beyond including Central Africa and Middle East. There has been steady growth in national milk production from about 365 million litres in 1991 to 1.5 billion litres in 2009. All regions in Uganda produce milk but south-western region accounts for the highest milk production of 36%, according to Uganda National Bureau of Statitics (UBOS) dairy sector report of 2009. However, there is a challenge of lack of reliable harmonised data on the dairy sub-sector. For example whereas the UBOS report says south-western Uganda produces 36% of the national milk yields, the Dairy Development Strategy says it’s





0.0 Central



(Excludes Karamoja)



(Source: UBOS)

June-July 2012



huge potential to grow its dairy export base in the regional markets. There are also many investment opportunities in the dairy sector such as in powdered milk, UHT milk pasteurized milk, cheese, yoghurt and others. In fact Pearl Dairies is already tapping into this opportunity. Owned by Midland Group, one of the largest conglomerates in Africa, Pearl Dairies has built a $15m plant in Mbarara district which will produce powdered and liquid milk, cream, butter and cheese. With the current processing capacity of 200,000 litres per day (expected to increase to 500,000 litres), the Pearl Dairies’ plant will increase job opportunities. Upon completion, the plant is projected to increase competition in the dairy sub-sector, increase the market and production of milk and consequently boost Uganda’s dairy exports base. There is a big market for Uganda’s milk both in the region and beyond. What is required is to increase production and farm productivity, according to William Matovu, the Country Manager of East African Dairy Development’s Heifer International Uganda project. Matovu, however, observes that farmers are constrained by lack of advisory information about livestock management. He contends that farmers need knowledge that will help them improve their milk production such as how to feed the cows, manage diseases, prepare for the dry season and selecting quality breeds with higher milk yields. East African Dairy Development helps dairy farmers in Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya to increase production, assists them to access markets for their products through aggregation and bulking and links them to Business Development Service providers to get credit for purchase of milk coolers and farm level inputs. In Uganda EADD is targeting to reach 45,000 farmers by the beginning of August 2012. When the dairy sub-sector was liberalized, it was left to the market to streamline supply and demand. But the government still needs to give support to farmers in guiding them on


June-July 2012

Monthly Milk Prices for May 2012 (Ug Shs) Milk Area

Farm Gate

Retail Outlet- Raw Milk



















Source: Dairy Development Authority

the modern methods of farming. “We need to invest in advisory and extension services. Farmers want to farm but don’t know what to do,” says Matovu. He calls on the government to provide to farmers such support as credit facilities and invest in dairy infrastructure like valley dams especially in water stressed areas and extension dairy services to advise farmers on livestock and farm management in order to stimulate growth of dairy production. He calls for adequate funding to the Dairy Development Authority to enable it have effective regulation and development of the industry. Due to various constraints including limited funding, the regulatory framework is weak and this has led to lack of quality uniformity in the milk production process. There is no standard quality in the sector and quality of milk varies from individual to individual and

place to place. With processors and exporters like Sameer and Jesa, providing market and value addition in the industry, Uganda’s milk production will continue to grow. What is needed is to have more investors entering the industry to expand the market and also information to farmers on how to increase their farm productivity and milk production. Market for milk could also be boosted locally by, for example, establishing a Schools Milk Feeding programme to encourage parents and schools to feed children on milk. This would provide a ready market locally, thereby increasing milk consumption countrywide. Further to this, Matovu contends that government should control dairy imports in order to increase the market for local milk and help the industry grow.




Start-up guide to POULTRY farming June-July 2012



Poultry Farming Chicken is a source of food in most homesteads in Uganda but it’s mainly reared at a subsistence scale largely for domestic consumption.


owever, with the growing population of 3 percent per annum, the demand for food has become more critical than ever before. Growth in demand for food has outpaced the growth in supply. This has called for large improved farming methods and system to increase supply of food to match the surging demand. Many Ugandans have now gone into commercial poultry farming in order to boost their income and also meet the country’s nutritional requirements. There are many more Ugandans who would like to start chicken rearing as a business but have been discouraged by lack of or little knowledge about poultry farming. There are some basic factors you must consider to start your own poultry farm and be a boss to yourself. Commitment: First, you must have commitment to the farming; investment capital, competent and reliable source of the chicks and source of right feeds that will guarantee you quality birds which will in turn enable you

achieve your business goals.

Nutrition: You need to have quality feeds with the right formulation to ensure the chicken get the required nutritional values of energy, proteins and vitamins. The feeds must have a combination of these


June-July 2012

food values. Cassava and grains such as maize and maize bran, rice bran, and wheat byproducts provide energy. Foods such as soya beans, soya cake, Mukene (Silver fish), cotton cake, sunflower cake and others are rich sources of proteins for chicken. Then you need to add vitamin mixtures to enrich your chicken dietary needs. Not only should the feeds be good but should also be given in the right quantities in order to avoid wastage and minimize costs without compromising output. For example a Bloiler chick will require 1.5kg of feeds in the first three weeks. Thereafter you start feeding them on 3 to 3.5kg per bird up to the selling time, which is about 6-7 weeks. By this time the birds will have attained at least 1.8kg, the basic acceptable market weight. For Layers, the feeding is a bit different. You need to feed them on Chick and Duck Mash. This will be done from the first day up to eight weeks at a quantity of 2.5kg per bad. After this, start feeding the chicken on Growers mash up to time of laying which is about 18 weeks. When the chicken start laying, change them to Layers Mash. Layers Mash is 3.8% rich in calcium which helps in formation of the egg shell. Continue feeding them on this food until they stop laying. The feed intake is about 120-125grams per bird per day. In total a Layer will consume about 40-45kgs of Layers Mash up to when it stops laying (off layer) which is usually at about 80 weeks. You also need Bell Drinkers for watering the chicken. Chicken need to drink water in order to supplement their diet and also for ease of digestion. With sufficient water, each Bell Drinker can serve up to 70 birds. You also need feeders. These are containers where the feeds are placed for the chicken to eat. Long troughs are needed to provide 12cm distance from each bird. In case you are using metallic round feeders, one can serve 25-30 birds. Chicken Shed: The poultry shed should be sufficiently ventilated to allow in enough oxygen for the birds. Wire mesh is preferred for walls of the shed. Make sure the number of birds do not exceed the space capacity of the shed. Overpopulation affects


Workers inside Ugachick factory on Namulonge Road sort slaughtered chicken before packing them for the market.

the health of the birds and increases disease incidence. A good stocking density should be 5 birds per square metre for Layers and 10-11 birds for Broilers. Weight standardisation: Another important consideration is uniformity of the birds (same size). It is important in poultry farming. This uniformity is determined by the feeding space, stocking density, sufficient ventilation to allow free flow of air in and out. Wire mesh is recommended because of its ventilation setup. In case of Layers, you need to de-beak them to prevent them from pecking and injuring each other. De-beaking should be done between 6-8 weeks before the egg laying hormones start developing at 12 weeks. De-beaking causes stress to the birds and can delay the commencement of laying time.

Treatment Most poultry diseases are vaccinated against. You need to immunize your chicken. You should have a proper vaccination calendar and genuine source of vaccines. You need a qualified personnel or his guidance to handle and administer the vaccines. Proper vaccine handling and administration plays a major role in control and management of poultry diseases such as the Infectious Bursal disease (Gumboro disease), Newcastle disease, Infectious Bronchitis, Foul Pox and Foul Typhoid. Level of hygiene and sanitation on the farm is vital in prevention and control of introduction of disease. With good nutrition, vaccination and bio-security, you will face little problems with your birds and have a successful farm. Training: It’s good to have elementary

technical knowledge and training about chicken management before you start a poultry farm. Besides, you need people trained in poultry husbandry for better management of your farm. Workers on the farm too need training in poultry management. It saves you the costs of using technical people for even the basic things that can be ably done by the ordinary workers. Note that different chicken species need different feeding compositons and requirements. It is therefore advisable to seek advice of a qualified personnel to guide you on the type and composition of feeds you need depending on the species of the chicken you intend to rear. (source: Interview with Emmy Kewber, Poultry Manager at Ugachic and other sources).

June-July 2012




June-July 2012


fish farming


Start-up guide to FISH FARMING June-July 2012


fish farming

Setting up a

Fish Farm


ish rearing is one of the fastest growing agricultural activities in Uganda today. The dwindling fish stocks in Uganda’s water bodies has made the need for replenishment even more critical. However, not being a traditional and common type of farming, fish rearing is still a big challenge to most Ugandan farmers due to limited knowledge and breeding technology. This limited knowledge or lack of it increases the farmers’ “fear of the unknown” and multiplies their reluctance to venture into this high income generating albeit “sophisticated” agricultural venture. However, with guidance of a trained personnel you can set up a successful fish farm. There are basic factors you have to consider when planning to start a fish pond. They include (but are not limited to) the nature of site; soil type; water source; construction of the pond (rearing system). Site: Check whether the topography of the area is appropriate. An area with rocks is not ideal for a fish pond. The gaps between the rock edges and soil will allow water leakage and the pond will drain out. The rocks may also cause high temperature in the pond when they heat up under the sun.

sources is reliable but its disadvantage is low oxygen concentration. However underground water remains the most ideal for fish farming. Remember fish, like any other living creature, need oxygen for breathing and the general functionality of the body. What a farmer needs to do is to dig a channel at the water source near the pond. Then this water flows from the channel into the pond. As the water flows from the channel it absorbs enough oxygen which it carries into the pond.

Accessibility must be easy to allow convenient and quick transportation of feeds and fish to and from the pond (rearing system). Ensure that the activities being carried out around the area are not polluting the pond.

Pond Construction The rectangular shape is better. It allows easy maintenance and fish harvesting. Positioning of the pond is also important. The length of the pond should face in the same direction with the wind to a void exposing the wider

Soil A place with clay soils or sandy clay soils is ideal for a fish pond because they have high water retention. Avoid constructing the pond on sandy soils. They allow high water escape and the pond will drain out quickly. Red soils too are not good for a fish pond site.

Source of water for the pond Rain water has sufficient oxygen but is not reliable because of its seasonal variability. Water from natural underground


June-July 2012

A fish breeding nursery at Ssanga on Matugga-Semuto road.

fish farming

water surface to the wind. Otherwise wind may drain away the water from the pond. The pond must have an inlet and outlet which are positioned opposite each other to allow proper inflow of oxygenated water into the pond and outflow of deoxygenated water. The pond depth should be such appropriate that you can easily stand in it and harvest fish or place the feeds with ease. The pond should have a slope of at least ž of a metre at the inlet and 1.2-1.5 metres at the outlet. The inlet should be higher than the outlet and usually above the water level to allow water absorb oxygen as it flows into the rearing system. Then place a screener or wire mesh to prevent intrusion of foreign creatures into the pond.

Management of the pond Smear a layer of lime on the walls to disinfect the pond and leave it for two weeks before you can fill it with water. But be careful not to apply too much lime because it can make the water toxic. After putting water into the pond, don’t rush

to introduce fish immediately. First put a frog to test the habitability of the pond environment. A frog thrives in a similar environment like fish. If the frog survives, it means the fish also will. Remove the frog and proceed to introduce fish into the pond. If the frog dies, so will the fish. This means the lime concentration was too high and made the water toxic. Drain away the water and refill.

Fertilising the pond Get a 50kg sack of organic fertilizer and tie it at the inlet. As water from the channel flows into the pond, it hits at the sack and carries with it the fertilisers into the pond. Fertilisation helps in acclimatisation to the pond environment and in the digestion of feeds.

Stocking the pond Start with Tilapia fish in the pond before you introduce, for example, Cat fish. Tilapia produces a lot while Cat fish is a carnivore and feeds on Tilapia. Therefore introduction of Cat fish into the pond will

help check Tilapia from overpopulating the pond. But introduce Cat fish after two and a half months. This time the Tilapia will be too big for the Cat fish to swallow it. The Cat fish will only be able to feed on the new born Tilapia and allow the old ones to mature. Tilapia takes between 8 -10 months to mature. At this stage, the Tilapia fish will be 500grams -800 grams. Cat fish will be one kilogram. This is the right time to harvest and sell. During this period both Cat and Tilapia fish will have consumed between 1.2-1.8kg of feeds per fish. Beyond this stage, the food conversion ratio becomes high and you need a lot of feeding to get marginal gain in fish weight. Therefore it becomes very costly to you. Note that it is advisable to always seek advice from a trained personnel before starting fish farming. (source: Interview with Godfrey Ddamba, Quality Controller at Ugachick and other sources).

A fish pond with an inlet pouring in water from a nearby channel. The raised inlet allows water to be oxygenated as it pours into the pond.

June-July 2012


fish farming


FISH Poultry feeds inside Ugachick factory along Gayaza-Zirobwe road.


n fish farming, feeding fish is a normal activity for fish farmers and it has to be considered as a major activity for fish farming. Howe ever, what is fed to fish is very important if a farmer is to get good results from fish farming. Some farmers feed their fish on maize bran, posho, cabbage, leaves and poultry left-over etc which are not formulated well to meet the nutrient requirements of fish and this hinders the growth of farmed fish addition to prolonged growth and failure of the fish to achieve the required weights. Such materials are raw and fish don’t utilize raw materials properly hence increasing the feed conversion ratio. Other people use sinking pellets which when poured on water all go down to bottom and mix with soil to form silt that cannot be eaten by the fish. These pellets are liable to increase the rate at which the pond or the rearing system is polluted and hence complicate the management of the rearing system. Besides, the farmer suffers economic loss as feeds that were bought are just lost. The farmer is then forced to give a lot of feeds due to the assumed response. A 3-formulation floating fish feed is the best. It provides more opportunities to farmers due to having intrinsic advantages over the rest of feeding materials explained before. The advantages come as a result of the preparation stages the feed passes through which involve cooking the feed to make the starch and other nutrient easily digestible. Fish do not digest most of raw


June-July 2012

starch. The feeds exist as 35%, 30% and 25% crude protein each having its own advantages. 35% crude protein is meant to be given to fish that have just been introduced into the pond. This feed gives the fish fast growth at the initial stage and helps the fish to acclimatize in the rearing system. It is made with high protein content and high energy value, high concentrate of amino acids and a well balanced amino acid profile required by the baby fish. It has double vitamins and doubled minerals which ensure feed utilization and fast response to the rearing system. The 30% crude proteins are formulated to enable fish meets its high metabolic energy requirement and ensure weight gain by the fish. It is single stabilized with

vitamins and minerals. The feed does not allow the fish to use body reserve and thus; reason for ensuring steady growth. 25% is produced with a factor that improves palatability of the feed as the fish at this stage are more mature. Although this feed has high palatability its satiety value is high thus enabling farmer to give little feed in relation to fish body weight thus minimising wastage.The above feed being cooked and having the ability to float makes it have many advantages over other forms of feeds which include being user friendly and easy management since farmers have the ability to observe the fish feeding; low feed conversion ratio due to the cooking it is subjected to during preparation; zero pollution of the rearing system and minimal feed loss. All these advantages combined save farmers a lot of costs.

A fish pond with floating feeds at Ssanga along Matugga-Semuto road.


Farming needs

good road network


he road network is a very important link between agricultural production areas especially in the rural villages to market centres which are usually in urban centres and on highways. Good roads help farmers transport their produce easily and quickly from deep in the villages to the market. Accessibility between the production areas and the market centres has a big influence on the price. The more inaccessible an agricultural area is the low pricing a farmer will get from his products. A well developed and maintained road network is therefore critical in the transformation of agriculture. Uganda’s road network is comprised of National Roads (20,000kms), District Roads (13,000kms) Urban Roads (2,800kms) and Community Roads (about 30,000kms). These roads serve to interconnect communities and districts and link land locked Uganda to neighbouring countries. The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) is responsible for the National Roads (20,000kms). The length of paved roads has increased from about 1000km in 1986 to over 3,600km by 2011. There are over 1000km of roads currently at varying stages of construction. The roads include Kabale-Kisoro (100km), Kampala-Gayaza-Zirobwe (42km), Kampala-Masaka-Mbarara (300km), Phase II Kawempe-Kafu Road (166km), Kampala-Mityana (57km). Others are: Fort Portal-Bundibugyo (103km), Nyakahita-Ibanda-Fort Portal (208km), Soroti-Mbale-Tororo (140km), Mbarara-Kikagati (75km), Gulu-AtiakNimule (104km), Vurra-Oraba (92km), Mbarara-Katuna (154km), Malaba/ Busia-Bugiri (82km), Ishaka-Kagamba (72km), Mukono-Jinja (52km), HoimaKaiso (85km) and Jinja-Kamuli (69km). UNRA has also embarked on feasibility studies to design a total of over 2000kms of new road upgrading proj-

ects in various parts of the country. New major projects like the new highway to Entebbe, Second Phase of Kampala Northern Bypass and the second

Nile Bridge at Jinja are also expected to commence by end of 2012. The improvement of the road network has led to unprecedented growth of

President Yoweri Museveni launches Gulu-Atiak road works.

A new market has been set up at Kijjabijo along the Gayaza-Kayunga road after the road was tarmacked. There was no market before. Motorists now make stopovers to buy fresh food and fruits. The market has also led to better prices for farmers’ products and thereby increasing their household incomes.

June-July 2012



Masaka-Mbarara Road network made better, farmers now bring their products to roadside markets for sale. This has created a high price value for their products and in turn increased the farmers’ earnings to extricate themselves from the poverty trap.

Status of recent road projects

Kabale-Kisoro-Bunagana/Kyanika Road: The overall progress by the end of February 2012 was at 85%.

Kabale-Kisoro undergoing construction


June-July 2012

Matugga-Semuto Road Kampala—Gayaza – Zirobwe Road: The road was substantially completed in December 2011. The section from Gayaza to Zirobwe was upgraded to tarmac. Masaka-Mbarara Road (148km) and Masaka-Kyotera (6km): Currently under reconstruction with 85% of the works on the Masaka-Mbarara road already completed. Kampala – Masaka (124km): Phase One of the reconstruction of KampalaMasaka road is ongoing. The second

phase started in February 2012. Kampala – Mityana (57km): Reconstruction is ongoing and overall progress by the end of April 2012 was estimated at 90%. Fort Portal – Bundibugyo-Lamia

Road (103KM): Works started in 2010 and the road is being upgraded to tarmac. The road project starts from Fort Portal town and descends through the foothills of Rwenzori mountains


Fort Portal-Bundibugyo Road under construction through Bundibugyo town to Lamia border with DR Congo. The overall progress by the end of April 2012 was estimated at 60 per cent. Nyakahita – Kazo – Kamwenge-

Fort Portal Road (208km): Works are ongoing under three phases: Nyakahita - Kazo section, KazoKamwenge section and KamwengeFort Portal section. Works on the first two sections began in May 2011. Kamwenge-Fort Portal will start by end of 2012. Tororo-Mbale road 48km: The contract was awarded in October 2010. Major physical works have started on two fronts. Mbale-Soroti (103km)The contract was awarded. Major physical works have started on two fronts. Jinja-Kamuli Works on Jinja-Kamuli are being implemented following a staged approach that will involve the recycling of improved existing pavement materials to restore the road pavement. Work on this road started in 2011 and will be completed at the end of 2012. Kawempe-Luwero-Kafu( 166Km) The final phase comprising overlay works commenced in May 2011. This road will be completed at the end of 2012. Construction of Atiak-Moyo-Afoji Road The contract was awarded and works commenced in May 2011.

A section of the Kampala-Mityana Road

other Major Projects NO. 1

Road Name Mbarara–Kikagati


Length (Km)



Contract awarded. Physical works commenced in April 2012.


Contract awarded – Physical works commenced in April 2012. Funded by World Bank and Government of Uganda.


Under procurement – Works to Commence in 2012. Funded by the Japanese Government under JICA

Gulu-Atiak 3 Atiak–Bibia-Nimule 4

Vurra–Arua–Koboko– Oraba



154.0 Mbarara-Kabale-Katuna


82.0 Malaba/Busia–Bugiri




Kampala-Entebbe Highway

Overlay (Extra tarmac layer) – Contract awardedPhysical works commenced in January 2011. Funded by Government of Uganda. Contract awarded- Physical works to commence in June 2012. Funded by Government of Uganda.


Contract awarded – Works commenced in May 2012. Funded by Government of Uganda.


Contract awarded – Works commenced in May 2012. Funded by Government of Uganda.


An alternative route for Kampala– Entebbe highway is to be constructed under financing arrangement with the EXIM Bank of China. Physical works are expected to start at the end of 2012

Hoima-Kaiso 10

Contract awarded – Physical works commenced in January 2012. Funded by the European Union

52.0 Mukono–Jinja


Contract awarded – Works commenced in April 2012.

June-July 2012


Empowering Ugandan Farmers to Eradicate Poverty through Mechanized Agriculture

Tractor World DISC HARROW






Authorised distributors & service providers ETC AGRO TRACTORS AND IMPLEMENTS LIMITED

Plot 1367, Block 236 Bweyogerere (Opp. SHIRE Fuel station), Jinja Road P.O.Box 33336, Kampala Uganda Tel: +256 784 203 905 / +256 702 425 826 Email: / Website:

crop husbandry

Role of MECHANISATION in agricultural production


griculture forms the heart and blood of Uganda’s economy. The agriculture sector faced hard times in the previous years due to the lack of infrastructure, lack of use of scientific methods and agricultural technologies and the deficiency of markets. Things have improved for the better in recent times in the agriculture sector. Agricultural technology is a term that is used to define tools and machinery that are used primarily or entirely to support agricultural enterprise. Examples of agricultural technology include ploughs, threshers, tractors, harvesters and others. The increase in production of food crops has improved from previous years due to increased application of agricultural technology. The chief

food crops of Uganda are corn, millet, beans, cassava or tapioca, plantains, peanuts, fruits and vegetables. The crops are sold both in and outside Uganda. The cash crops which are exported include coffee, tea, cotton and tobacco. There is a general increase in the volumes of agricultural production partly due to increased use of agricultural technology. The government addresses rural poverty through its National Development Plan (NDP), a comprehensive policy aimed at guiding development planning. Among the objectives of NDP is to prioritize the modernization of agriculture sector for promoting economic growth. The government has put in place a number of initiatives aimed at transforming agriculture and increasing

output and productivity. ■ ■ Developing agricultural technologies and strengthening the National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS). Agricultural research continues to play a critical role in the productivity growth and improved competitiveness that drive the transformation of agriculture. Thus NARS objective is to develop agricultural technologies through research and strengthen agricultural research institutions. NARS will be supported through: (i) technology identification and development; and (ii) institutional strengthening. ■ ■ Enhancing partnerships between agricultural research, advisory services and other stakeholders. The objective is to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of technology

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crop husbandry

development and dissemination by supporting closer linkages between the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), NAADS and other stakeholders. ■■ Strengthening NAADS. The objectives are to support improved delivery of demand-driven and market-oriented advisory services to farmers to help them progress from subsistence to market-orientated farming. Specifically, activities are aimed at: (i) empowering farmers and strengthening their organisations; (ii) supporting the delivery of agricultural advisory services; and (iii) providing two types of grants to farmers’ groups: (a) food security grants to provide demonstrations on food security enterprises and promote their multiplication; and (b) market-oriented enterprise promotion grants to demonstrate to farmers how to pursue commercially promising or market-oriented enterprises and promote their establishment. This component will also make substantial efforts to enhance NAADS by increasing the outreach to farmers and helping them move up the value chain. Supporting agribusiness services and market linkages will help integrate smallholders into value chains by supporting collaboration among agribusinesses, farmers, advisers and researchers to create viable and sustainable market and agribusiness linkages. There are two subcomponents: (i) agribusiness development services; and (ii) establishment of a commercialisation challenge fund under which matching grants will be provided on a competitive basis. However there are still big challenges impeding large scale agricultural production such as limited land for agricultural activities in some places; lack of modern agricultural skills and experience leading to low interest; inadequate agricultural extension services and limited funding for agricultural projects. However, improving agricultural technologies will help farmers move from subsistence to market-oriented production and increase their incomes and improve their food security. Improvement of rural road network to create an easy


June-July 2012

A hand tractor which can be used by small scale farmers to increase production.

A man ploughing land for agriculture in Karamoja. Mechanised farming has increased food production in the semi-arid sub-region. link between the farm to market centres will boost production. Another option is provision of rural financial services to encourage small-scale farmers save part of their earnings to re-invest in increasing their productivity. Radio shows educating farmers on how to increase their farm output will help reach majority of the farming

communities and therefore compliment the inadequate face-to-face extension services. Innovative use of ICT as a key tool for both farmers and service providers, linking cluster groups with agricultural institutions, training and establishment of demonstration projects are additional boosters for agricultural production.

crop husbandry

You need CHEMICAL SPRAY for crop health J

ust like human beings and livestock, crops need treatment for good health. Crops require chemical spray against insects, pests, weeds and fungal infections. To achieve profitable farming, a farmer needs insecticides to kill destructive insects, herbicides or weed killers to get rid of unwanted plants from the garden, pesticides to kill pests. It’s important to also apply plant growth regulators. These are chemicals which enhance photosynthesis (the process by which plants manufacture their own food) and helps the plant develop strength, thereby boosting the crop health. The right time for application of plant regulators is at flowering and fruiting stages, according to Tiby Thomas, a crop scientist and improved crops technologist with Twiga Chemicals, established dealers

in agro-chemicals. However, to achieve maximum results, chemicals need to be applied together organic and biological manure additions. This is called the Integrated based Nutrient Management System. Many farmers want to use chemicals to enhance their crop yields but they lack the right information. They not only need to be educated on the use and importance of chemicals but also on the availability and application/usage. However, there is call for caution. Wrong use of chemicals can be counterproductive and dangerous to crops or even human health. It is important to have knowledge about the right chemical, dosage, concentration of the spray, the right time to spray and how to spray. Spraying without wearing industrial protective gear such as

masks, glasses, boots and jackets to avoid chemical inhalation or contact with the body can be harmful to human health. It’s important to read and understand the labels on the chemical pack properly before buying or use. In case of any doubt, it’s advisable to consult a trained personnel for guidance. There are also chemicals for post-harvest grain storage. Some chemicals, if rightly applied, can keep grains safe for up to nine months in a store. But the storage facilities must be humid and moisture free for the chemical to be effective. Moisture and humid create favourable conditions for bacteria to thrive and multiply, which will therefore undermine the effectiveness of the preservative chemical. Stores should be properly sealed to avoid infiltration of moisture.

BIDCO workers spray oil palm trees in the nursery in Kalangala district.

June-July 2012


crop husbandry


give hope for Uganda’s future


anana is a staple food in the southern and western parts of Uganda and globally, it’s one of the most consumed food crops. It originated in Southeast Asia. Researcher Norman Simmonds proposed that banana was one of the first crops to be domesticated by man. In his writing about the beginnings of agriculture in Southeast Asia, Simmonds concluded, “It seems a reasonable assumption that the bananas evolved along with the earliest settled agriculture of that area and may therefore be some tens of thousands of years old.” Scientists say that about all of the more than 300 varieties known today arose from two seeded diploid species; Musa acuminata Colla and M. balbisiana Colla; they are diploid, triploid and tetraploid hybrids among subspecies of M. acuminata, and between M. acuminata and M. balbisiana. Today banana is the fourth most important crop worldwide after rice, wheat and milk. It is also the fourth biggest export among all agricultural commodities and is the most significant of all fruits, with world trade totalling $2.5 billion annually. Banana is a staple food as well as a source of carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins A, B6 and C, and potassium, phosphorus and calcium in many countries in tropical Africa, America and Asia. However banana production is


June-July 2012

declining worldwide due to increasing incidence of pests and diseases. The major pests of bananas include the banana weevil which barrows into the corm and psuedostem causing the plant to snap and a complex of nematodes which eat up the roots causing the plant to topple. Pests and diseases have forced agricultural researchers and scientists to breed new resistant varieties in order to check the disappearance of the traditional banana types and also increase banana production and food security in the country. Farmers in most banana growing areas in the country have lost their plantation due to diseases such as the black Sigatoka; which causes the drying of leaves, Fusarium wilt; which causes blockage in the vascular tissue of the plant and banana bacterial wilt; which causes yellowing of the leaves and premature ripening of the banana. Pests and diseases are among the most important factors in banana production worldwide. They are the reasons all the world’s breeding programmes were created and remain a primary focus of all current programmes. The diseases have become principal targets of biotechnological research to improve banana with resistant varieties. For these reasons, many banana varieties have been introduced and developed by the National Agricultural Research Organ-

The Fhia 25 variety which can yield up to 20 litres of juice a bunch. isation (NARO) at its various research institutes such as Kawanda Agricultural Research Institute in Wakiso district near Kampala. NARO has developed varieties for

crop husbandry

A plant affected by the Banana Wilt desease

Banana is a staple food as well as a source of carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins A, B6 and C, and potassium, phosphorus and calcium in many countries in tropical Africa, America and Asia.

juice production or consumption as desserts and cooked food. Kawanda has developed the M9 banana variety (Kabana 6 or Kiwangaazi in the local Luganda language) which is suitable for cooking. According to Dr Jerome Kubiriba of the Banana Department at Kawa-

nda, M9 is resistant to black Sigatoka (which causes leaf drying), Fusarium wilt which blocks the vascular tissues of bananas and causes wilting of the leaves and substantial yield loss. It can also tolerate weevils, nematodes and escapes insect spread banana bacterial wilt. Among the varieties,

M9 is the best for cooking, according to Dr Kubiriba. He says M9 is the first banana hybrid variety whose breeding process was started and completed in Uganda. Its development started in mid 1990s and was tested on farmers’ fields with several other varieties, many of which were found unacceptable especially for taste. M9 has taste acceptable to the farmers and the institute officially released it for cultivation last year. It yields a big bunch of 25-71 kgs on maturity and has long well filled fingers easy to peel. Its food is golden yellow. M9 is tolerant to nematode (invisible worms that cause root rotting) and weevil attack. It is also tolerant

June-July 2012


crop husbandry

to banana bacterial wilt and takes 15 months to flower and 4 months to mature. There are several other varieties which are still under the breeding process at Kawanda. Kawanda has also developed Fhia banana breeds. The Fhia hybrids are resistant to diseases like the Fusarium Wilt which destroys the traditional dessert and juice varieties. Fhia 17 (kabana 3) and Fhia 23 (kabana 4) varieties are consumed as desserts and have been developed as alternatives to the traditional dessert varieties of Bogoya and Ndizi, which are seriously threatened by Fusarium wilt, also called panama wilt, a notorious disease that threatened to wipe out the export banana industry in south America in the 1960s. The taste of Fhia17 is close to that of Bogoya. There is also Fhia25 variety. This is meant for juice and its juice yields are higher than those of Km5. According to Tendo Ssali, a banana breeder at Kawanda, a mature bunch of Fhia 25 banana can weigh up to 125kg and yields up to 20 litres of juice. However this variety, although widely grown, has not yet been officially released for mass farming. A separate breed called Km5 (Kabana 5) was developed as alternative to Musa Kayinja and Kisubi, which are also susceptible to Fusarium wilt. It’s also purposely for juice production and can survive in less favourable environment more than its counterpart varieties.

The M9 variety which can be cooked for food. M9 is resistant to Sigatoka disease.

Advantage of improved bananas Given the high expense of fungicides, their unavailability for subsistence farmers, and the recurring problem with fungicide resistance, it is clear that genetic resistance to black Sigatoka would be most useful. If resistant agronomically acceptable cultivars are available, they will provide the best solution to this problem in export and subsistence situations alike.


Leaf of a banana plant affected by black Sigatoka.

June-July 2012

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The East Africa Agribusiness Magazine (Issue 1-Ug)  
The East Africa Agribusiness Magazine (Issue 1-Ug)  

The East African Agribusinessmagazine is a publication focusingon agriculture and agriculturalmodernisation. It aims at providinginformative...