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Monday,November 19,2018 11:44 AM

Best farmers: Meet Dr. Apollo Ataho (Frank Farm Estates)

By Admin

Added 15th June 2016 04:00 PM

Dr. Apollo Ataho who is the Director-General Operations and the driving force behind the changes now taking place

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Dr. Apollo Ataho

Dr. Apollo Ataho who is the Director-General Operations and the driving force behind the changes now taking place

Located in Lugushulu sub-county, Sembabule district, Frank Farm Estates is a unique agricultural enterprise because it was upgraded from a family holding into a registered business.

It has a Board of Directors and positions assigned to various members of the family who are paid salaries and dividends.

Dr. Apollo Ataho who is the Director-General Operations and the driving force behind the changes now taking place was picked as the winner for his industrious performance on the farm which has three outstanding enterprises - dairy, beef, and goats.

The farm is home to 240 Boran, and over 440 Boran- Brahman crosses kept for beef and 250 Holstein Friesians for milk and 220 long-horned Ankole cattle.

The farm was commercially reorganized for generational sustainability through restructuring the various enterprises, injecting higher management, improving the herd, improving pastures, and ensuring water availability in an area that is prone to prolonged periods of drought – Sembabule.

It is highly mechanized and owns a milk cooling unit that serves the community, uses modern dehorning techniques and milking machines, has agencies to supply other farmers, and own veterinary and animal health and hygiene personnel. It has established market linkage through milk purchase agreements, and runs a website on which their clients access information.

The infrastructure is developed to include paddocking to create a rotational grazing system especially in the Friesian wing; installation of a modern spray race and construction of two valley dams for increased water harvesting with each dam valued at around sh7m.

The farm started the ‘Ankole Cattle conservation project’ because the breed faces extinction as it is being rapidly supplanted by Friesians. Famous for its high resistance to disease and its survival through long spells of drought, the Ankole cow’s genetics are worth conserving, one of the directors notes.

Part of profits goes to community development as they established and continue to manage two milk chilling plants (at Kyabalesi and Lutungu). Through this intervention they have managed to increase the price of milk in our area by 10%.

It is a dual purpose estate directly producing both beef and dairy products. They run trainings and sensitisation programmes for farmers, researchers, and students, all in a bid to create awareness.

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