President Yoweri Museveni has urged leaders in all cattle keeping areas in Uganda to sensitize farmers on good cattle management and nutrition to improve their production, warning that they should guard against tick borne disease which is becoming rampant and resistant to drugs.
“I have been engaged in the fight against poverty brought about by ignorance. In the 1930s, Tsetse flies attacked most areas and brought various animal diseases. Ticks also brought diseases. Leaders must sensitize farmers on good cattle management to improve their production," he said.
Museveni was meeting cattle keepers as well as leaders from Kiruhura district led by the area Member of Parliament Fred Mwsigye at his home in Rwakitura. The meeting was also attended by the minister of state for animal husbandry, Bright Rwamirama.
The President, a large scale cattle keeper, has been spearheading an aggressive campaign against cattle diseases including various forms of tick borne diseases, worms and Tsetse flies.
He wants leaders and other authorities to sensitize the public on the use of animal chemicals saying that some chemicals become resistant after using them for a long time but the public do not know.
He was recently in Ireland where he held discussions with Norbrook to devise ways to sustainably handle tick resistance to acaracides in Uganda. Norbrook is the leading supplier of acaricides in Uganda.
The President cautioned teh farmers against tick borne diseases and cattle diseases and also advised them to ensure good cattle nutrition by clearing land, planting nutritious grass for their animals, address water and breeding issues to enable the sector to thrive.
Museveni also advised cattle keepers to stop overgrazing, adding that in case of an increase in numbers of the animals, some can be sold off and the proceeds invested in other income generating projects.
"If the number of your cattle multiplies, you can sell some and use that money for constructing commercial buildings in towns," he counseled.
He cautioned Ugandans against land fragmentation adding that land is for production and not for accommodation, encouraging them instead to open up companies so as to have families to share want comes out of production rather than dividing up the land.
According to reports, from an economic point of view, cattle are the most important livestock in the country. With the number of herds of cattle in the country having increased from seven million to 14 million, the sector has great potential to grow.