Lands Minister, Betty Amongi

Government has controversially given out 72,650 acres of public land, including ranches to private individuals, companies and agencies for different projects despite opposition from Members of Parliament and other shareholders.

The decision by government to allocate the land to different entities was arrived at during a meeting by officials from the ministries of Land, Agriculture and the Uganda Land Commission in late May, 2018.

The meeting to give away public land was attended by Lands minister Betty Amongi, state minister for Animal Industry, Joy Kabatsi and Baguma Isoke, the Chairperson of the Uganda Land Commission.

Some of the entities given the land are supposed to use it to breed long-horned Ankole cattle as well as fattening the animals for beef, some of which can be exported.

Some of the beneficiaries include and Emmanuel Kamihingo, Barnabas Tikamanyire Nuwamanya, Eric Rutahigwa, Ankole Long-horned Cattle Breeders Cooperative Society and Amos Dairies and Gravity Investment Limited.

Other receivers of the land are ; National Animal Genetic Resources Centre and Databank (NAGRC & DB), Palm Oil Project, NARO, Palm Oil Outgrowers, Brentec for Livestock Vaccines Sasini Limited and Ahmed Altigani from the United Arab Emirates and Ji Xia Jia of Hibyishengyuan Company Limited.

Some of the ranches where land has been allocated are; Aswa, Nshaara, Maruzi, Lusenke, Ruhengyere, NARO Nakyesesa and Njeru.

A total of 7,680 acres of land in Aswa Ranch has been given to Gravity Investment Limited. The beef ranch is located in Pader District and was set up in the 1960s and was run by the Uganda Livestock Industries, a government parastatal. The ranch was economically vibrant in 1960s and was known for production of exotic dairy cattle. It had more than 30,000 head of cattle, including other livestock.

Another 27,520 acres in Maruzi Ranch have been allocated to Palm Oil Project, and another 4,480 acres in the same ranch has been allocated to NARO. National Animal Genetic Resources Centre and Databank (NAGRC & DB) has also received 5,120 acres in the ranch and another 4,480 in Nshaara Ranch.

Nshaara Ranch, located in Nyabushozi County, has seen Rutahigwa allocated 1,280 acres, Tinkamanyire given 3,200 acres while Ankole Long-horned Cattle Breeders Cooperative Society 1280 acres and Kamihingo given1,280 acres.

Amos Diaries Ltd has been given 1,280 acres. Ji Xia Jia of Hibyishengyuan Company Limited has also been allocated 3,200 acres in Nshaara, and the total farm area is about 6,000ha and has a carrying capacity of 2ha per Livestock Unit, the farm can graze 3,000 livestock unit compared to the current 1617 livestock unit on the farm.

Further, Ahmed Altigani from the United Arab Emirates has been allocated 1,280 acres in Ruhengyere Ranch.