The Ankole Long horned cattle

Uganda has potential to improve its cattle herds as 93.6 per cent of the animals are indigenous, the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) in the latest statement it released in partnership with the National Animal Genetic Resources Centre and Data Bank (NAGRC&DB).

According to the statement, 70.4 are Zebu/Nganda, 29.6 per cent are Ankole, while only 5.6 per cent are dairy exotic/crossbreeds and 0.8 per cent are beef exotic/crossbreeds.

Meanwhile NAGRC&DB has restocked 30 per cent of the centre farms mostly with indigenous cattle and goats and has in the last ten years trained over 600 artificial insemination technicians who have carried out 125,000 inseminations throughout the country.

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“A high capacity liquid nitrogen plant was purchased and is fully operational. A semen and embryo transfer laboratory was rehabilitated and is newly equipped,” the statement reads in part.

However, the statement says there is an urged need to restock all the center farms across the different agro-ecological zones in the country as well as rehabilitating the centers’ dilapidated infrastructure.

The agency (NAGRC&DB) says it has introduced over 1000 new breeds of pigs to improve the litter-size and pork qualities in the country. It has also availed to farmers with 4000 pure female Boar goats and bucks.

NAGRC&DB, according to the statement, has so far distributed over one million day-old chicks and distributed the brooded birds to over 5000 households and farmers across 1000 districts of Uganda.

The agency also imported 125 pure dairy cattle aimed at improving dairy productivity and increase on the numbers of exotic dairy breeds.

It has also upgraded gene bank to serve the Eastern and Central African regions.