Learning Never Stops: Cow Management
Often times the community asks AYEN to train their members in varying skills. To us, this is a way that we are able to give back to our community through supporting, especially, agricultural education. During these sessions, we relate with our communities and get to understand their concerns. It is also a learning opportunity for us, especially, that they teach us too and share more about our environment and community. In the picture, our farm manager Maxwell conducts a training to Nenanyim farmers group, on how to look after your cow.
Lighting up AYEN Farmstead
During COVID-19, we were stuck with our milk. We couldnt access the market because the clients were not earning either and many shops has been closed. MIlk is a perishable commodity and goes bad after 24 hours. However, when processed to cheese, yogurt or other forms of milk products, its life span is extended immensely. This was the motivation behind the need for a power source. Irrespective of the milk product, need for power was vital. There is no electricity in our village. We needed power that would not only enable us light up the area and cook but also use it in getting the fridges fworking. We contacted our engineer and she gave us options: Pull electrical power – It would definitely cost us an arm and leg to pull electricity to our farm. There is no electricity in our village Use a generator – the need to always have a fuel source may present challenges. The nearest fuel source is our 15kms away Use solar – yes, we have plenty of sunshine. However, we also have the rainy days. During the rains, we may not get enough power for our fridges Use biogas – this is costly but once set up, is the most practical. We mave the cowdung to feed into the system. It is not affected by sunshne or fuel. More, the biogas will provide high quality and low-cost homegrown fertiliser for our farm So we opted for biogas. See how far we have come …
Herbal Pastures: Farmers’ experience
Organic farmers have shown an increasing interest in growing herbs in their pastures because they potentially can have health benefits, positive influence on the milk and the milk yield, and contribute to the variety and ‘naturalness’ of the pasture, among others by offering the cows a variety of different tastes and additional micro minerals and other substances. At a workshop for Danish organic dairy farmers which took place in June 2012 as a part of the SOLIDproject, several farmers discussed the need for collecting long term experiences with using herbs on pastures. There was especially focus on the survival of herbs in long-term pastures because it was a wish to prolong the number of years between ploughing with the aim of reducing CO2 emission (related to machinery) and building up carbon deposition in the soil. See below their responses… What motivated the farmers to start using herbs? Half of the farmers started using herbs 14-18 years ago when they converted into organic production. As far as they remember their decision about using herbs was not influenced by advisors; they just wanted to offer their animals a more varied feed with different tastes. Some farmers had noticed that their cows preferred to eat trees and wild species of herbs if offered, rather than the grass which was available in the field in abundance. Other farmers emphasised that mineral supplementation was a reason because they perceive especially herbs with deep root systems like chicory to draw up minerals from deeper soil-layers. A third reason given by farmers was the expectations of medical effects of using herbs e.g. against parasites and against ruminant bloat/ tympanitis. Farmers make their own experiments with herb mixtures The famers who started using herbs on own initiative 14-18 years ago have over years tried different compositions of herbs. One herb which has been used continuously is Chicory (Cichorium intybus). This herb normally establishes quit well in the field, the cows like it, it is believed to have a medical effect on parasites and on ruminant bloat and to have a high mineral content. Herbs like dill and parsley have been tried but given up again. Dill had a poor re-growth after harvest or grazing and parsley germinated very slowly, lost competition with other herbs, and never really established in the field. These very experienced herb-farmers continue to develop their methods and experiment with different mixtures. That is also the case for the two farmers who took part in the research projects by Karen Soegaard in 2007. In this specific project, seven different herb-species chicory (Cichorium intybus), ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata), caraway (Carum carvi), salad burnet (Sanguisorba minor), birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus), chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium) and sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia) were sown. These two farmers both continued using herbs in all pastures, although just one (chicory) or a few species are used now. Farmers use what is currently on the market The herbs currently chosen by the farmers seem to reflect which herb-seed mixtures which are available on the market. Most farmers use these mixtures which include herbs like chicory, Sainfoin, ribwort plantain, caraway, dill (Anethum graveolens), birdsfoot trefoil and salad burnet. The farmers however know that some of the species often establish very poorly in their pastures, and if they had the possibility they would have adjusted the balance of herb species in the mixture. Some farmers add other herbs to these mixtures like alsike clover (Trifolium hybridum) while others choose just to add chicory seeds to the traditional grass-clover seed mixtures. Farmers’ experience that some herbs are better ‘survivors’ than others Farmers had experiences with some herbs surviving better than others. Herbs like chicory, caraway, Lucerne, red clover and ribwort plantain are relatively large plants with deep roots and they both have a high competitiveness the year the pasture is established, and they are also the best survivors in a long term- perspective. Herbs like Lucerne and ribwort plantain seem better suited for cutting than for grazing and chicory and caraway seem to be the only plants able to survive grazing over several years. However, in general, farmers told that all sown herbs had difficulties surviving the winters, their occurrence were markedly reduced every year and barely existing after 3-4 years. Farmers also experienced that in very dry periods, herbs coped better with drought than grass. Especially deep rooted herbs like chicory, lucerne and alsike clover had a remarkable drought resistance. Several farmers experimented with keeping their herb/grass pastures for more and more years before ploughing. The oldest pasture was 6 years old. Sowing herbs broadly versus in stripes Almost all interviewed farmers used herbs in all of their grass-fields, both fields used for grazing and for silage production. They either buy seed mixtures including herbs or they mix herb seeds with grass and clover seeds before sowing and in that way the herbs are broadcasted all over the fields. Only one farmer was sowing the herbs in 30 cm broad stripes for every 4th meter. He had observed that in this way the survival of the herbs was increased because the competitive pressure from grasses and clover was decreased. Most other farmers considered also to try herb-stripes in the pastures to increase the competitiveness. Herb fields were not used for hay, but silage production worked well The herb fields were normally never used for hay production because the dry leaves crumble away if they are handled more than once. Only one farmer had made hay one time on a field dominated by lucerne and in a period with stable sun and warm weather. Silage production seems to work well except in one of the pure herb fields without grass. Here the leaves from chicory fall to the bare soil when cut, and when they dry they get sticky and difficult to pick up without soil. In this way the silage quality is markedly reduced due to soil contamination. In the other pure-herb field a cover of low grasses (poa annua) had established from the seed bank in the soil, and in this field there were no problems with soil contamination because the chicory leaves were carried up by the grass cover. The cows enjoyed eating herbs All farmers reported that their cows were happy to eat both fresh herbs when grazing (except the old tough stems of chicory) and silage made from herb-grass fields. Only the silage including sticky chicory and soil was disliked by the cows. Some farmers had the impression that especially in the springtime the cows preferred herbs and leaves from bushes and trees in hedgerows before grass. The farmer who established bands of herbs on the pasture described how the animals could stand in rows grazing primarily these stripes of herbs. Farmers perceived herbs as contributing to good animal health The farmers were asked whether they had noticed any effect from use of herbs on the health of their cows. Since there had not really been a before-after situation for many years, they were not able to see any difference. They all stated that they generally perceived their cows to be very healthy. Cows which had taken part in the herb-silage project only got the pure herb-silage for 3-4 weeks, which was not enough to observe any difference on their health. Several farmers were convinced that the herbs contributed to the mineral supply of the cows. One interviewed farmer had not given other supplementary minerals to the cows the last six years – and had not experienced any negative effects. One farmer had many years ago a high prevalence of ruminant bloat in his herd. He solved that problem by exchanging red clover by alsike clover and adding caraway to the herb-seed mixture. In general the believed health-related effects on the cows and the fact that the cows seemed to enjoy the herbs were the main reason for the farmers to continue sowing herbs in the grass fields. To read full report
Water is life: Our Livestock
All livestock need fresh water for their bodies to function. They gain water not only through the action of drinking but also from the greenfood they eat. Unfortunately, on our farm, the green feed is seasonal . We have one rain season and that is when they access green food. Water is vital for bodily functions such as regulation of temperature, nutrient uptake, removing wastes, body weight, and health. Losing one tenth of the body’s water can results in death as the body will shut down. This compelled us to construct a cattle watering area on our farm. See pictures below. We have not finished it yet. When we do, we will definitely share more pictures
Making Products from Cow Dung
Meet Aparna Rajagopal, a lawyer-turned-organic farmer who has created a business from the dung of native Indian cow breeds. Aparna Rajagopal is a lawyer-turned-organic farmer and animal rescuer. She runs Beejom, an animal sanctuary and an organic farm spread over 10 acres in Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Budh Nagar district — a half-an-hour drive from New Delhi. http://ayen.biz/wp-content/uploads/She-sells-cow-dung-products-but-not-milk-to-save-native-cows-of-India-1.mp4 One of the unique features of Beejom is its gaushala or cattle shelter. When Rajagopal started the shelter, she decided to keep only cows indigenous to India. The shelter currently has over 120 cows from 12 different native Indian breeds. Many of them were rescued. She follows a unique business model. She does not sell the milk of these cows but keeps it for the calves. Instead, she has created a business from their dung. She calls her enterprise ‘Dung Ho’. Can selling just dung be profitable? Especially when the demand for A2 beta-casein laden milk from indigenous cows is growing every day? But Rajagopal believes that her model is equally effective. The 120 cows on her farm excrete about 1,300 kilograms of dung every day. The dung is not sold raw, but is converted into useful products before being sold to customers. One of the most interesting products made by Dung Ho are cow dung logs. These dung logs can be used to replace traditional wood or coal for burning. Burning of cow dung logs emit much less pollutants than burning wood. Apart from dung logs, Beejom also makes and sells flower pots, oil lamps, statues of Indian gods and goddesses, puja kits, dung manure and bio pesticides. All these products are made of cow dung. Dung of the indigenous cows is more suited for making these products as they contain more fibre than the exotic or cross bred counterparts. Rajagopal says: “The idea behind creating these value-added products from dung is to generate resources so that these non-milch indigenous cattle can be preserved in a sustainable way”. Can this model benefit small farmers? Can it generate extra income for them? Rajagopal believes that dung can add an extra layer of income for small farmers apart from fertilising their fields. Cow dung soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, shaving creams, sunscreens, face washes, teas, incense sticks and bio fertilisers are the major cow dung and cow urine products which are present in the market and are now even marketed by many online websites like Amazon, flip kart etc. As long as the smell and the quality is concerned, the reviews of these products online have been quite good. People claim of these products smelling good and also providing extra care to their skin.
Preventing tick on your farm
Sharing a few things that we do to prevent ticks on our farm…. Ticks are small, blood-sucking bugs. They bite people and animals and may spread disease. 1. Vaccination Weaning or branding are ideal opportunities to vaccinate calves as they rarely show vaccine reactions. All cattle introduced from areas where ticks aren’t prominent need to be vaccinated as well, preferably 60 days prior to their first exposure to ticks, to allow for full immunity to develop. The live vaccine produced by Queensland’s Tick Fever Centre protects against the three tick fever agents – Babesia bovis, B. bigemina and Anaplasma marginale. Note that this vaccine won’t protect against infection with Theileria, a protozoal infection which is spread by bush ticks (Haemaphysalis). Vaccine is manufactured as fresh ready-to-use product with a 4-day shelf life. The frozen Combavac 3in1 vaccine is not available and the Tick Fever Centre will notify producers when it is being produced again. Protection from the live vaccine is lifelong. However, a range of factors will impact vaccine efficacy and it’s a good idea to re-vaccinate very valuable animals such as bulls. 2. Reduce or maintain tick burden The more ticks on cattle in your herd, the more likely tick fever will spread. This means that cattle with lots of ticks are more likely to be exposed to infection with tick fever. So, should you just maintain a ‘zero tick’ policy? That’s not very easy to do and may not be the best solution. Herds of cattle with no ticks (e.g. in the Tick-Free Zone) do not develop any immunity to tick fever. This means that they’re highly susceptible to infection when ticks do arrive e.g. in strays or bought-in cattle, or even dropped over the boundary fence. Similarly, herds of cattle inside the Tick Zone that have a high level of tick control will have low to no natural exposure to tick fever. However, having ticks doesn’t necessarily bring immunity – mainly because the tick fever organisms inside the ticks have an irregular distribution and are not found in all ticks. The safest policy for producers in or adjoining the Tick Zone is to vaccinate all introduced stock as well as calves at three to nine months old with the tick fever vaccine, then manage the tick burdens based on the economic threshold for your herd. 3. Paddock management Some paddocks can have very high levels of tick larvae contamination. This will include those that had large numbers of ticky cattle or those grazed by feral deer. Knowing which paddocks have high burdens will allow producers to avoid those paddocks for susceptible cattle i.e. newly-introduced, heavily-pregnant or nutritionally-challenged stock. Measures to decrease pasture larval burdens include spelling (up to nine months is required to clear all tick larvae), grazing with cattle treated with a ‘medium or long-acting’ product, or more intensive measures such as mowing, cropping or even burning. 4. Select resistant breeds Brahman and other Bos indicus cattle are relatively resistant to infestations with the ticks themselves, thanks to their physical and physiological adaptations. This resistance does vary by length of exposure to ticks and season. They are also reasonably resistant to tick fever caused by Babesia bovis and B. bigemina. However, they’re just as susceptible to Anaplasma as Bos taurus or Wagyu cattle. This means that they can still develop severe disease with tick fever. Using tropical breeds or crossbreeding to introduce Bos indicus genes into a herd has many advantages, including adaptation to tropical conditions, but the ability to cope better with ticks and tick fever is a valuable benefit in areas of tick challenge. 5. Biosecurity measures Bought-in cattle, strays, gates left open or even ticks that are dropped by a neighbour’s cattle at a boundary fence have all been causes of tick fever outbreaks in susceptible herds. This means that any measures you take to reduce the likelihood of tick entry will pay dividends in disease control. Source If you have ticks on your farm and you are failing to get rid of them, please contact the nearest veterinary officer for help.
The Herdsman, A Pillar on the Farm
Meet Sam, our herdman as he goes about taking the calves to graze. A herdsman is one of the most important staff members on a farm. He must be responsible, detail-oriented, flexible and confident in making decisions. He is responsible for the multiplication of the herd. This he does by taking lead in the birth of calves, ensuring safe delivery. He also is responsible for breeding and heat detection of the cows, thereafter, taking appropriate measures. Taking all precautions to the cattle’s mortality rate is also on his shoulder, including identifying animals that should be curled, transporting them to and from auctions and points of sale. The health of the cattle leads to better beef, more milk and longer age span. It is the duty of the herdsman to keep the herd healthy, identify the sick cows before they go down and seek professional advice, thereafter, administer prescribed drugs. Cattle need their hooves trimmed. This is done to renders the herd less susceptible to structural lameness as well as bacterial-caused lameness, also a role of the herdsman. Cows are milked daily, sometimes twice a day. This is under the docket of the herdsman. He has to make sure that the cattle have access to nutritious feed and clean water. Raising hay and other forage is also under hs obligations. The farm manager sets the milk quotas for the day and the herdsman makes sure that they are adhered to. He records the amount of milk obtained every day. He is also responsible for the hygiene and safety of the diary facility and tools used within. If the farm uses technology to milk the animals, he must be qualified to operate milking machines and other equipment, troubleshooting any mechanical problems or other issues as they arise. He must keep the milking parlor clean and up to the standards required by the dairy inspector.
Climate change is already hitting Africa’s livestock. Here’s how COP26 can help
It’s a common scene across many African countries’ rural areas: cows grazing peacefully. But, by 2050, heat stress induced by climate change may drastically alter this familiar picture. New findings from the International Livestock Research Institute show that, unless massive adaptation measures are put in place, the number of extreme heat events driven by climate change – especially in the continent’s tropics – will increase. Poultry and pigs already face major heat stress challenges in many regions of the tropics where they are currently raised. The same is true for all five major domesticated species in large swathes of West Africa, where heat stress is likely to make it nearly impossible for livestock to be kept outdoors. Heat stress is likely to be only the beginning of the problems. Not enough is known about likely future impacts of increased climate variability on feed and forages, grazing area and water, or about shifts in climate-sensitive diseases and disease vectors and their impacts on livestock. Even under relatively mild but realistic climate scenarios, it will be necessary to reconfigure and relocate agricultural systems. This will have profound consequences for people’s nutrition and well-being. Livelihoods will be threatened. The livestock sector contributes about 30-50% of agricultural GDP and supports the food security and livelihoods of about one-third of Africa’s population, or about 350 million people. Source of article Picture: A herd of cows returning from a drinking hole in Amboseli, Kenya. Buena Vista Images/GettyImages
Uganda runs out of FMD vaccines as demand rises
The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries –MAAIF is unable to carry out the mass vaccination of cattle against Foot and Mouth Disease-FMD due to vaccine shortage. Dozens of districts across the country such as Gomba, Isingiro, Kazo, Kiruhura, Wakiso, Kiboga, Kiryandongo, Koboko, Masindi, Rakai, Nakasongola, Nwoya and Gulu among others have been under livestock quarantine since February due to the outbreak of the FMD. However, Dr. Rose Anna Ademun, the Commissioner of Animal Health at the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries, says that the government is unable to carry out mass vaccination of livestock in the country due to lack of vaccines. She explains that the government procured 3.4 million doses of FMD vaccines at Shillings 10.8 billion from its supplier in Kenya in April 2019. However, to date, the supplier has only supplied 1.4 million dozes. Dr. Ademun says that the supplier failed to supply vaccines to the country following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic since Aluminium Hydroxide that is used to produce FMD and COVID -19 vaccines became so scarce due to its increased demand. She revealed plans by the ministry to start procuring FMD vaccines from Ethiopia, Egypt, France or Botswana. But hastened to add that this will come at an extra cost. She advised the respective districts with confirmed FMD cases to carry out ring vaccination with the little consignment of the vaccines. Dr. James Okwir, the Nwoya District Veterinary Officer told URN in an interview that more than 1000 cows are affected by FMD, which has also killed about 100 calves from June this year when the first case was reported. According to Okwir, they are waiting for the Ministry’s assessment to find out whether the disease is still in the district or not before lifting the livestock quarantine. Alfred Opiyo, the Gulu District Veterinary Officer, says that they have vaccinated over 3,000 cattle by end of September. He says they are carrying out ring vaccination since the vaccines they received from the Ministry are inadequate. Gulu Received 5,000 dozes of FMD vaccines. Stephen Gang, a livestock farmer in Gulu District says because of the FMD vaccine shortage, some farmers in his neighbourhood are using petrol and other methylated spirits to treat the affected animals. He appealed to local leaders to ensure strict enforcement of the livestock quarantine in the district to save indigenous animals from infection. Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a viral disease of cloven-hoofed livestock and wildlife, including cattle, goats, swine, sheep and buffalos. It has occurred several times in Uganda since 1953 when it was first confirmed. It is characterized by fever and blister-like sores on the tongue and lips, in the mouth, on the teats and between the hooves. Source
Farmers Perception: Free & Zero Grazing
In addition to livestock feed shortage, free grazing contributes more for soil erosion and land degradation. Zero grazing or stall feeding is one of the feeding systems that prevent the above problem. The main objective of the study was to assess farmers’ perception on the disadvantages of free grazing and to assess farmers’ perception on the advantages of zero grazing of livestock. The study was conducted in the selected Watersheds of West Gojjam Zone, Amhara Region. A total of 200 households were selected for interview by using systematic random sampling technique. Data analysis was done by using descriptive statistics of mean, mode, standard deviation and frequency. Inferential analysis of independent sample t-test and chi-squared tests were done to test mean and occurrence comparison among adopter and non-adopter farmers of zero grazing system. Likert scale was used to scale and quantify the level of farmer’s perception. The research result revealed that there is a good understanding and perception on the disadvantages of free grazing and the advantages of zero grazing. There are also challenges of zero grazing implementation which were shortage of land for private grazing and feed production and shortage of animal power source for crop production. On the other hand the Watershed development created an opportunities for the production of improved feed at different niches, government focus on the cross breeding, experience of livestock sharing and availability of ground water. Adoption of zero grazing can be successful without any enforcement mechanism, by increasing training and awareness creation works on the zero grazing, increasing forage and water availability, improving local livestock breed and increasing farm mechanization for crop production should be planned and implemented. Click to download full document
Government lifts 2-year animal quarantine in Nakaseke
Farmers from three sub-counties in Nakaseke District can now earn from their respective livestock after government lifted a two-year long livestock quarantine slapped on the areas to contain the spread of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD). The three sub-counties that have been under quarantine since 2019 include Ngoma, Kinoni and Ngoma Town Council. However, the lifting of the quarantine restrictions comes with tough guidelines in line with the prevailing conditions and guidelines earlier announced by government as per the presidential directives on the prevention of Covid-19 pandemic. Under the new guidelines, sale of livestock and their products must only be on farms under the supervision of a public veterinary officer, with the knowledge of the village chairperson and the parish chief. The animals must move on trucks only for slaughter purposes, adhering to all FMD biosecurity measures. The commissioner for animal health in the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Dr Anna Rose Adamun, in a July 29 letter addressed to the Nakaseke District Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), states that the quarantine restrictions have been lifted after strategic ring vaccination against FMD was carried out in the affected areas, with supported evidence from laboratory tests indicating the containment of the disease. “The purpose of this communication, therefore, is to inform you that the quarantine restrictions imposed on Ngoma Town Council, Kinoni and Ngoma sub-counties have been lifted with conditions hereunder,” Dr Adamun’s letter reads in part Mr Enock Nyongole, the Nakaseke North MP, said livestock farmers in the area have endured the quarantine through the two successive Covid-19 induced lockdowns, which limited their abilities to take care of their families without any alternative sources of income. “Cattle corridor areas purely depend on the sale of livestock products and our people could not meet their family basics under the lockdown since their source of livelihood had been affected. It is good that FMD is now under control in the affected areas,” he said in telephone interview on Monday. The persistent animal quarantine imposed on areas where FMD has been detected in Nakaseke District is partly the reason why the district has continued to perform badly in terms of local revenue collections. Nakaseke District chairperson, Mr Ignatius Kiwanuka Koomu, told this newspaper on Sunday that mass vaccination for all livestock in the cattle corridor areas is the best solution to FMD. “The fact that we have porous borders where animals from different areas cross in and out of the country makes the containment of FMD disease tricky. Government must plan for mass vaccination of all animals against FMD. Our areas have been crippled by the persistent animal quarantines. Our farmers purely depend on livestock products for survival and any attempt to stop the transaction in the animal products affects the entire district,” he said. Mr Edmond Ssendagire, a farmer in Ngoma Sub-county, Nakaseke District, said they had almost given up on government promises to have the quarantine lifted. “The farmers claimed that their respective areas were now free from FMD, but the veterinary officers insisted that government would only lift the quarantine after sample results from the different areas conducted at the government laboratories prove that FMD was no longer a threat. It is our appeal that strict measures are put in place to stop animals crossing into the district without FMD clearance certificates,” he said. Last month, government imposed quarantine restrictions in Kakooge Sub-county in Nakasongola District after FMD was detected by veterinary teams. Kakooge Sub County neighbours Nakaseke District. About FMD Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is a severe, highly contagious viral disease of livestock that has a significant economic impact. The disease affects cattle, swine, sheep, goats and other cloven-hoofed ruminants. It is a transboundary animal disease (TAD) that deeply affect the production of livestock and disrupting regional and international trade in animals and animal products The first FMD outbreak in Uganda was recorded in 1953. Since then, they occur annually and do not seem to follow a particular pattern. In 2014, FMD hit about 30 districts across the country and the government imposed quarantine on the sale of beef and other dairy products. The quarantine was lifted six months later. The disease struck again last year and several livestock farmers in the cattle corridor districts lost a number of animals. Recently, livestock experts working with Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) asked government to investigate the various strains of FMD virus to avert further outbreaks. According to experts, a blanket solution like vaccination prior to identifying virus serotypes could cause more losses to the farmers. They argued that the strains of FMD experienced in Uganda differ from district to district and no single vaccine can cover all the livestock at ago. Read the original article from Monitor
2nd Lockdown: Food Prices Double in Gulu
Patrick Omona, the Vice-Chairman Gulu City Livestock and Butchery Cooperative Saving, and Credit said they have decided to increase the price to make some profit. He said that at least a cow costs’ on the market is Shs 1 million. Meanwhile, a kilogram of beef (meat) which sold for Shs 12,000 before the lockdown has climbed to between Shs 14,000 and Shs 16,000. People in Gulu are struggling to feed their families as food prices soar, spurred largely, by the second national lockdown and ban on inter-district movement and cattle markets. Essential food prices and commodities have nearly doubled, according to people interviewed for this story. In Gulu Main Market, the price of about 65 to 70 pieces of ginger, measuring a little less than four inches each, have soared to Shs 200,000 up from Shs 130,000. A kilogram of garlic goes for Shs 7,000 up from Shs 2,200 while watermelons have disappeared from the shelves. Jackie Adure, a market vendor at Gulu Main Market told the Cooperator in a recent interview that, “We have lost supplies from Kampala but the problem again is that our local farmers haven’t taken advantage here to produce them,” Adure explained. “We were operating at a loss because we would only get about Shs 900,000 from the sale of meat, which is much lower than what we spend to buy it,” Omona said. Geoffrey Akera, a butcher at Lacor trading Centre, said the closure of auctions largely to curtail the spread of the coronavirus has cut off supplies of animals for slaughter. Jenifer Oyella, a food vendor in Laroo, said the current food prices in the markets have affected her restaurant business. “I attempted to increase the prices of my local dishes and suddenly I lost customers and now I have suspended the operation until the situation becomes normal,” Oyella added. Surprisingly, while prices of other commodities have nearly doubled in the district, beans prices have dipped. At Cereleno Market in Gulu City, a kilogram of beans dropped by Shs 500 from Shs 2,500 while a bag of beans in the villages has fallen from Shs 180,000 to Shs 130,000 currently. Source of the article
We opted to make our own bricks ….
It makes sense. Mud is plentiful and literally cheap, and so is the sunshine used to dry mud bricks until they’re solid enough for construction. The only costs are in labor and time. Mud is among the most popular building materials in Northern Uganda and the country as a whole. It’s a relatively straightforward process that’s been employed with many variations since around 7000 B.C. Opting to make our own bricks was because they are cheaper by UGX 100. More, because of handling, we would minimize breakages incurred during transportation and packing. When one makes their own bricks, they are then sure of the process. See our progress below: The soil is collected into one big heap in preparation for brick making. Different soils make different quality of bricks. Some even use clay soil. Our bricks piled up and burnt. You will notice that we opted for a wider and shorter shape than the normal tall one. This is to enable the heat reach all the piled bricks. Some of our bricks as seen from a further distance. It is these that we will use for construction on our farm. They are cheaper, stronger and we are very sure that they are properly made.
National Livestock Census May 2021
The National Livestock Census kicked off on May, 17th and shall run till May,28th 2021 aimed at obtaining information on the structure and organization of the livestock sector in the country. See Promotional Video 1 and/or Promotional Video 2.
Blackquarter Disease in Gulu: A huge setback for farmers livestock
Gulu District Veterinary department declared a quarantine on cattle in Paicho and Awach sub-counties following the outbreak of Black Quarter disease. The quarantine came after the disease claimed at least 50 heads of cattle. This was in mid-April 2021. Recovered calf after removing of all necrotic tissue Black quarter (BQ) is an acute, infectious disease caused by Clostridium chauvoei – a Gram-positive, anaerobic organism. This disease is characterized by inflammation with gaseous oedema of skeletal muscle and severe toxaemia. The organisms are ingested, pass through the wall of the intestinal tract, and after gaining access to the bloodstream, are deposited in muscle and other tissues (spleen, liver, and alimentary tract) and may remain dormant indefinitely. Most cases are seen in cattle from 6–24 months old, but thrifty calves as young as 6 weeks and cattle as old as 10–12 years may be affected. Symptoms: Lameness, Loss of appetite, Rapid breathing, Fever and Unwillingness to move. Early signs: swelling of the thigh, with leg up and tail raised (arrows) The ban also means that trading in livestock within these areas is prohibited, The district communications officer, Ms. Gloria Aloyo said. This is not good news for us farmers in Gulu because it is in the months of April, May, and June that we offload to the market animals that we have been fattening in the past year. That means that this year, we will be stuck with these animals. . Vaccinations have begun though in the district, with each costing UGX5,000. The government is not subsidizing. The District Veterinary Department has also started sensitizing the farmers on how to contain, avoid and manage this disease.
Necessity is the Mother of Invention…
COVID-19 pandemic hit us too!! Being majorly ranchers, our milk sales dropped by over 70%. This is because people could no longer buy our milk because their salaries had been halted. Worse, the transport was increasingly difficult because of the lockdown – vehicles were not permitted to travel as freely as we would have preferred. We ran to The Small Business Recovery Fund to enable us to obtain process our milk to a state that would last longer than 24 hours. On 17th March 2021, we prepared our first yogurt!! See our pictures below … Preparing the ingredients to make the yogurt We have two bottle sizes … 250gms and 500gms Our Yogurt …. now to label it …then market it … The Small Business Recovery Fund is a dedicated short-term emergency financial relief fund to support at least 20 selected START Facility pipeline SME’s facing threats from COVID-19 related challenges and accelerate their capacity to access START Facility concessional funding from Uganda Development Bank and other financing institutions. All loans extended to SMEs under the recovery fund from the START Facility should be paid back by December 2021.
Kadi dyerwor bor, wang ma ping oruu…
…literally meaning that …”how ever long the night, the dawn will break“. This 18kms road has been a nightmare to the peoples using it since time immemorial. During the rainy season, the road was totally impassable. It was punctuated with potholes and several very slippery spots. Humans and animals found it difficult to travel!! Even the lorries and four-wheeled vehicles could not pass through!! See some of the pictures of the said road … At the beginning of January 2021, AYEN Farmstead took the initiative to repair this road. The dawn had come to us and our animals, the users of this road. See pictures below of work currently going on … The said road is Aleda- Aswa Road, branching off from Aleda primary school. Watch the video clip (click on the picture below) …
British Market Should Benefit All Uganda Beef Cattle Farmers
This week, President Museveni was in London to attend the United Kingdom-Africa Investment Summit 2020. The “invest in Africa” business conference was, as usual, graced by the presence of many African heads of state hoping to attract British investors. In a post by President Museveni on social media site Twitter, he said: “I am glad that in his speech, British prime minister Boris Johnson indicated that our products, including Uganda’s beef, would find its way onto the dining table of post-Brexit Britain. Our position has always been balanced trade that benefits all parties.” Ordinarily, all Ugandan farmers, especially the cattle keepers, should have celebrated upon hearing the prospect of their products being displayed in British supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s and Tesco. However, many were left wondering if the beef being talked about will not actually be from just a few elites and politicians. There is great potential for Ugandan beef, which Uganda Investment Authority says is low in fat and cholesterol, which is desired in some developed countries. Therefore, beef from Uganda undeniably has significant money making potential, not just in Britain, but in other markets around the world. But there is fear that majority of Ugandan cattle keepers are unlikely to benefit from the President’s efforts in London. While President Museveni was still in London, real life concerns were playing out back at home. Source
How to care for a New Born Calf without the Mother
Sometimes a calf is orphaned when its mother dies giving birth. Newborn calves can be hand-raised if you provide the right housing, nutrition and preventive medical care. A newborn calf is a delicate creature and, like a human infant, requires round-the-clock attention for the first few weeks of birth. Items you will need: 4-by-8-foot calf hutch Clean, dry cloth 7 percent tincture of iodine Nipple bottle High-quality colostrum Whole milk or milk replacer Calf starter feed Vaccinations A, D, E vitamins and Combiotic shots Straw bedding Alfalfa hay Water trough or pail Wipe mucus from the newborn’s nostrils and mouth with a clean, dry cloth, and gently rub its body. The calf’s mother would normally lick the calf clean, which also helps stimulate its system and breathing. Cut the umbilical cord 2 to 3 inches from the calf’s body. Dip the umbilical cord in 7 percent tincture of iodine to prevent pathogens from entering the calf’s body. House the newborn calf separately in a 4-by-8-foot calf hutch. The hutch should be located in a clean, dry, well-ventilated barn or other shelter that offers protection from drafts and the elements. Protection from dampness, cold and heat is critical. Ventilation is also very important. Accumulation of methane, ammonia and other gases in manure and urine can cause respiratory diseases. Cover the hutch floor with clean, dry straw. Straw needs to be cleaned daily, and any wet or moldy straw should be immediately removed. Bottle feed the newborn calf 2 to 4 pints of high-quality colostrum within the first 12 hours of birth. Colostrum, the mother’s first milk after calving, contains antibodies and nutrients necessary to stimulate the calf’s immune system. The calf’s system will change after the first 12 hours and it will not absorb the necessary nutrients if the colostrum is fed later. Continue feeding the calf colostrum for the first four days after birth. Colostrum can be stored in the freezer and thawed slowly in warm water. Many calves require bottle feeding at first but will be able to drink from a pail after about four days. Feed the calf milk or milk replacer every two to three hours for the first three weeks, then reduce feedings to two or three times a day. Calves should be fed 10 percent of their birth body weight (1 quart of milk weighs 2 lbs.) Milk replacer should contain a minimum of 20 percent crude protein and 20 percent fat. Offer calf starter grain feed and alfalfa hay when the calf is 4 days old, in addition to milk or milk replacer. If the calf isn’t eating much, remove the old feed and lower the amount offered. All feed should be clean and fresh. Increase grain and hay amounts as the calf grows and consumes more. Wean the calf off milk or milk replacer. When the calf is eating about 2 lbs. of calf starter a day, it can be weaned off milk. Vaccinate the calf at least once before weaning. Giving the calf shots of vitamins A, D, E and Combiotic can also be beneficial. Typically, calves should be vaccinated for bovine respiratory syncytial virus, bovine viral diarrhea and infectious bovine rhinotracheitis. Consult your veterinarian for immunization and supplement recommendations. Provide access to clean, fresh water at all times. Water should be free of particulate matter and low in salt and bacterial content. Water pails and troughs should be cleaned thoroughly and the water replaced whenever it becomes dirty. If the weather is hot, replace water regularly throughout the day to keep it cool. Calves up to 6 months of age will consume anywhere between 2 to 5 gallons of water daily. Source
Uganda: Government reopens livestock markets
Government has announced the reopening of livestock markets. The markets were closed in March by President Museveni as a measure to curb the spread of the Covid-19 disease. On Wednesday, the State Minister for Animal Industry Bright Rwamirama told journalists at the Uganda Media Center that government has allowed the livestock markets to reopen and issued the guidelines that will be strictly adhered to. According to Rwamirama, the markets have been opened but under very strict guidelines which are supposed to be followed by both the animal sellers and the buyers. Some of the guidelines include no cattle market in districts under any form of animal quarantine will open until the commissioner animal health lifts the quarantine, animals sellers must be allocated space of at least 2 meters from one another. The livestock markets are supposed to have an intact perimeter fence with an exit and entrance fence, a source of water and hand washing facilities will have to be installed at the entrance of every cattle market. Others are; only animal buyers, sellers, drivers, market dues collectors, animal handlers and veterinary inspectors will be allowed in the markets and no other vendors. No livestock markets in border districts are allowed to operate unless the market is over 20 kilometres away from the borderline, all people entering the market are supposed to wear masks and ensure social distancing, veterinary officers will be placed at every entry of the market to take temperatures of everyone who enters the market. All livestock markets are supposed to have an isolation paddock for all animals suspected to be sick and the markets will operate from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm to allow the animals move before curfew time. Rwamirama said that all animal markets that lack structures that have been stipulated must be put in place before they reopen and this will be ensured by the district veterinary officers in the respective districts and that the market owners shall provide security personnel to enforce the guidelines. Source
Yipeee!!! Our Spray Race is Complete…
We are so so happy …. In this video, we are testing our new Spray Race … a big thank you ACF – Agricultural Credit Facility. This will go along way in addressing flies, ticks, mites, fleas and their relations on our farm. We look forward to more healthy animals henceforth. http://ayen.biz/wp-content/uploads/AYEN-Videos-testing-our-spray-race.mp4 read our previous related article
Reproductive Tract Injuries That Can Occur in Bulls
In order to be a successful breeder, a bull must produce adequate amounts of fertile semen and must be able to deliver that semen to the reproductive tracts of cows. There are a number of injuries a bull can sustain that can damage his reproductive tract to the extent that he is not capable of successfully breeding. Reproductive tract problems Persistent frenulum: A thin band of tissue, or frenulum, connects the penis to the prepuce of a bull at birth. This band of tissue normally disintegrates by about one year of age, but in some yearling bulls it is still present at the start of their first breeding season. A persistent frenulum will pull the penis into a rainbow shape and will prevent breeding. Correction of this problem can be achieved with a simple surgery. Penile hair ring: Body hair can accumulate on the penis due to riding activity. This hair can gather into a ring near the end of the penis. In some cases the ring can cause enough constriction to severely damage the penis. This condition can be discovered by routine examination of the penis during a breeding soundness examination (also referred to as a BSE). Treatment consists of removing the hair ring, but if damage is extensive, the bull may not return to service. Preputial lacerations with prolapse of the prepuce: The prepuce can be lacerated during mating or from damage to the sheath. The deeper the laceration, the more serious the prognosis. Superficial tears will commonly heal with only 30 days sexual rest. Hematoma of the penis: This condition is often referred to as a broken penis, but it is actually a tear in the fibrous, elastic layers that surround the penis. The bull will have a swelling immediately in front of the scrotum. This swelling is due to blood forming a clot around the penis. The injury occurs during mating and is considered very serious. Deviations of the penis Earlier trauma can cause deviations of the penis after the initial damage has healed. Laceration of the prepuce or hematoma of the penis can cause scar tissue to form between the penis and the prepuce, which can produce a deviation. Spontaneous deviations are due to an abnormality of the fibrous ligament that runs along the top of the penis. This ligament is supposed to keep the penis relatively straight during erection. Three types of deviations can occur. They are: Spiral: The most common of this group is a spiral deviation, which occurs when the ligament slips off to the left side of the penis causing a counterclockwise spiral. A similar condition is commonly seen when using an electroejaculator to collect semen samples. But it is not considered a problem unless it occurs in natural breeding situations. Ventral: If the ligament along the top of the penis is thin and stretched, it cannot hold up the end of the penis, and the penis takes on a rainbow shape. S-shaped: The S-shaped deviation occurs in older bulls with an excessively long penis. The ligament along the top of the penis is strong enough but is too short. Therefore, during an erection, the penis is pulled into an S-shape. Surgical correction has been described for spiral and ventral deviations, but long-term return to breeding is not expected. Each of these injuries to the penis or prepuce can cause an otherwise fertile bull to fail to impregnate cows. Source of article
Uganda moves to boost incomes of smallholder livestock farmers
Uganda’s agricultural ministry is working to boost incomes, expand exports and support local food security through livestock farmer training and access to improved animals. Livestock is an important source of income for more than 80 percent of the households classified as poor in sub-Saharan Africa. In Uganda, more than 50 percent of the households depend on livestock for their livelihoods. Agricultural officials are hoping to both expand exports and feed Uganda’s growing population more sustainably through its new Lusenke transformational project. Some 5,000 livestock farmers will be trained at the 4,480 acres Lusenke stock farm in central Uganda once COVID-19 restrictions lift. The farmers will be trained in livestock management practices such as disease control, breeding and nutrition to boost productivity, said Dr. Charles Lagu, executive director of the National Animal Genetic Resource Centre and Data Bank, which is overseeing the project. “Better livestock productivity, increased livestock numbers, an end to endemic livestock diseases, adequate feed resources, etc., will be tantamount to more livestock exports and livestock product exports to other countries in the region,” Lagu said. The project will extricate many smallholder livestock farmers in Kayunga and other areas in Northern Buganda out of poverty, said Amos Lugolobi, the area’s Member of Parliament. Some 22 percent of North Buganda residents live below the poverty line, compared to 5.9 percent in the capital city of Kampala. It is anticipated that average monthly household incomes in the project’s area of focus will increase to US$125 — slightly higher than the national average of $113 but lower than the Kampala average of US$267. The project also will support livestock farming communities with quality livestock breeds as well as enhance their capacity to serve as reference points and demonstration farms in aspects of proﬁtable livestock enterprises, animal production and livestock farm management practices, Lagu said. Godfrey Gidu, a cattle farmer from Lusenke village, has struggled to keep cattle diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease at bay. He’s upbeat about participating in the project. “I see a steady stride for my business upon getting knowledge from the training sessions I will attend in the post-COVID-19 period,” Gidu said. Grace Namuwenge, a 37-year-old smallholder livestock farmer from Busaka village, is also set to gain from the project. “This project will enable me to crossbreed,” she said. “It is something I have always wanted to do. I will get more dairy cows and goats with high genetic potential for better milk production.” Lagu projects that by the time the project ends in 2024, the livelihoods of many small-holder livestock farmers will have been transformed through enhanced livestock production and productivity in the project’s area of focus. Uganda currently has some 14.2 million cattle, 16 million goats, 4.5 million sheep, 47.6 million poultry and 4.1 million pigs, according to data from the agricultural ministry and the Uganda Bureau of Statistics. The country is currently a net exporter of livestock products and live animals, primarily dairy products and eggs. Meat and meat products play a minor role. “Our farmers will have access to affordable and quality animal breeds,” Lugolobi said. “The over 100 extension workers will ensure that farmers get knowledge on improved animal breeding and other livestock production improvement techniques.” Image: Unsplash/ Mario Mesaglio. Source of Article
Constructing our Spray Race
An animal Spray race is that animal walk in a confined area (race) where a pipe system with many nozzles (usually 20 – 30) are fitted at certain intervals and at particular angles. The animals are wetted as they walk through the length of the race with dip-wash sprays coming through the nozzles. Why spray the animals? Spraying livestock with parasiticides against external parasites of cattle, sheep, goats, pig, poultry: flies, ticks, mites, lice, mosquitoes, fleas. Spraying is a frequent alternative to plunge dipping of cattle and sheep in small to medium size properties, or for treating all kinds of livestock indoors. See Photos of our Spray Race made with support from ACF – Agricultural Credit Facility
…and another calf
Calves on the farm are always good news. Today we again woke up with some good news and especially after one of our cows testing positive for East Coast Fever. Calving Tips Prepare good space for the mother and her expecting calf(ves). It’s best to have small pens for calving cows to be able to deliver and get the newborn calf up and nursing as soon as possible. This is both essential to the good health of the calf as well as the cow’s ability to “claim” the calf. Adjust feeding times. Normally, farmers feed grain in the morning, but during calving time it is advisable to switch to evening feeding. This is because it helps get them in the barn, and research has proven that feeding in the evening tends to cause the cows to calve during the day, or at least towards morning. Go easy when pulling calves. If you are halfway through pulling a calf and it starts bawling, instinct might compel you to pull harder to get the calf out as quickly as possible. But, that’s the last thing you should do. The calf’s bawling means it can at least breathe, which is most important. Added pulling can kill and/or injure the calf because remember it is halfway out and crying. Watch cow behavior before & after calving. Even if your cow is the tamest, most easygoing cow in your herd, her hormones will kick in sometime before or after calving and as a result, she may want you nowhere near her calf. Be aware that the animals’ behavior can change quickly and be ready to act. In a day or 2, she is back to her old self. Give the cows time. Keeping cows and newborn calves separated from the rest of the herd isn’t just good for the bond between the two of them. Keeping the cow in isolation a day or so after her calf is born can help her bounce back quicker once back with the herd Don’t be afraid to call the vet. The vet will check the mother and her calf alot more professionally that you the farmer.
East Coast Fever
Today is not a happy day for us. One of our calf has East Coast Fever. What you see in the picture is the calf undergoing treatment. The Farm Manager is taking temperature from the rectum. The temperature reading was 40.9°c What is East Coast Fever Kinete stage of Theileria parva in the transmitting tick Rhipicephalus appendiculatus East Coast fever, also known as theileriosis, is a disease of cattle which occurs in Africa and is caused by the protozoan parasite Theileria parva. The primary vector which spreads T. parva between cattle is a tick, Rhipicephalus appendiculatus. East Coast fever is of major economic importance to livestock farmers in Africa, killing at least one million cattle each year. Native cattle are often resistant to the parasite, but not without symptoms. They are hosts to the parasite, but do not suffer as severely as foreign cattle. Clinical signs and diagnosis Mortality can be up to 100%, with death occurring around 18–30 days after the initial attachment of infected ticks, because the incubation required is around 10–25 days, and the parasite spreads quickly and is rather aggressive. Clinical signs include fever and enlarged lymph nodes near the tick bites. Smears and stains can also be done to check for the parasite. Schizonts (meronts, or segmentors) can be found in infected lymphocytes. Pathology includes anorexia, dyspnea, corneal opacity, nasal discharge, frothy nasal discharge, diarrhea, pulmonary edema, leukopenia, and anemia. Endemic cattle given medication sometimes recover to varying degrees, or death follows due to blocked capillaries and parasites infecting the central nervous system. Cattle in endemic areas which survive infection become carriers. For diagnosis, post mortem findings are characteristic and mainly include damage to the lymphoid and respiratory systems. Treatment and control One study using the medicinal plant Peganum harmala showed it to have a lifesaving effect on cattle infected with East Coast fever. The classical treatment with tetracyclines (1970–1990) cannot provide efficiency more than 50%. Since the early 1990s, buparvaquone is used in bovine theileriosis with remarkable results (90 to 98% recovery). Other than the buparvaquones, other chemotherapeutic options are the parvaquones, e.g. Clexon. Halofuginone lactate has also been shown to have an 80.5% efficacy against Theirelia parva parva infections. The ultimate factor that causes death is pulmonary edema. In May 2010, a vaccine to protect cattle against East Coast fever reportedly had been approved and registered by the governments of Kenya, Malawi and Tanzania. This consists of cryopreserved sporozoites from crushed ticks, but it is expensive and can cause disease. Control of the disease relies on control of ticks of domestic animals. This is a major concern in tropical countries with large livestock populations, especially in the endemic area. Pesticides (acaricides) are applied in dipping baths or spray races, and cattle breeds with good ability to acquire immune resistance to the vector ticks are used. Source: Definition, signs and treatment
Welcoming another Calf…
Today, we celebrated a the birth of a new calf on our farm This birth was very important to us because the mother labored for 7 hours and then gave up. Thanks to our skilled staff, they were able to help her deliver safely. She is now safe but needs close monitoring.
Rearing Chicken on our Farm
We have chicken on the farm too. These chickens are local and reared locally. Every morning, they jump down from their tree and go look for food.In the evening, they climb back and sleep. Whereas the mother hens sleep in a locally made shelter, the laying chickens lay eggs in laying baskets attached to the traditional huts. This is how we make their laying baskets Get reeds from the swamp or market. If they are not dry, dry them in the sunshine. hold a bundle of about 1 inch thickness and roll dry rafia around it to make a long tail like ‘rope’. Using a shoe makers needle and rafia,sew the ‘rope’ together, while forming the basket shape and size of preference. Start with the base, going upwards. Finish it by making the handles, normally two for added balance and strength when hanged up. Outside your traditional hut, hang it and tie it properly sothat the chicken does not fall down. It is hang there for shade and security. Do not forget to check the strength of the laying basket every time a chicken lays its eggs. Sharing pictures: Maxwell, the Farm Manager shows some samples … Side View: The Laying Chicken basket Bottom Inner View: The Laying Chicken basket Outside Bottom View: The Laying Chicken basket The tree where the rest of the chicken stay Uses of Local Chicken They have a social-cultural function; tradition chickens are given as part of the bride ‘price’ in marriage The gizzard of a chicken must be served to the male visitor when the chicken is slaughtered in his honour. For meat at home The legs, bones and head are the dogs They are used for barter trade. This is practised in the Lango sub-regions as well; where a bull, cow or heifer can be exchanged for a certain number of chickens Those that believe in rituals, use the white one to cleanse cultural or ritual misfortunes, while black ones are used in rituals to condemn or curse social offenders.
Effect of Ticks on Livestock
Ticks are external parasites that live on the skin or the fleece of animals. They are the most important ectoparasites of livestock in tropical and sub-tropical areas, and are responsible for severe economic losses both through the direct effects of blood sucking and indirectly as vectors of pathogens and toxins. Why is it important to know about the effects of ticks on animals? Loss of blood. Ticks feed on blood. Each tick sucks not less than 30 drops of blood to complete its life cycle. Loss of blood results in retarded growth and loss of weight. Some of the staff on our farm preparing the cattle for spraying against ticks. Tick worry. A tick bite leads to discomfort for the animal. The animal gets irritated and does not eat (graze) well. This will in turn affect its weight gain and milk supply. Toxins. The saliva of ticks contains toxins which are released into the body of an animal. This will affect the general health and productivity of the animal. Wounds. When ticks attach themselves, their mouthpieces damage the skin and if they detach themselves, they leave wounds through which germs can gain access to the body, bloodstream and cause disease in various organs of the body, which will cause diseases in animals. If the animal is slaughtered, the meat may be contaminated and will then be condemned. Screw-worm strike. The wound that has been left behind by the ticks usually becomes an ideal site for screw-worm infestation and is very difficult to cure. Loss of the distal end of the tail. This results from clusters of tick biting of the tail brush. This loss deprives the animal of the swish with which it whisks off irritating flies and biting insects. Damage to the hide. The mouth of the tick pierces through the skin and leaves permanent markings. These markings will affect the value of the hide when being processed for the manufacturing of leather goods. Diseases. Many animal diseases are transmitted by ticks, e.g. tick-borne diseases such as theileriosis, heartwater, redwater, gallsickness and sweating diseases in calves. These are some of the serious diseases caused by ticks or associated with ticks. They are tallied by who/m they affect. Conclusion It is very important to prevent animals from being infested with ticks as this may lead to loss of production, poor meat and hide (skin) quality. Infestation may be controlled by the regular dipping of animals and by best agricultural practices in managing veld and grazing rotations. The building and maintenance of dipping tanks or sprays, the labour needed for mustering stock and the purchasing of acaricides for tick control and therapeutic agents add greatly to farmer’s production costs. Always remember: Prevention is better than cure Source
Earning from Beef Fattening
Cattle fattening business is a very profitable business and many people are making money all over the world by doing cattle livestock farming business. Cattle beef fattening involves the feeding of beef cattle with a protein balanced, high-energy diet for a period of 90 days under confinement to increase live weights and improve degree of finish and thus obtain better grades at the abattoir. Beef fattening enables the cattle to express fully their genetic potential for growth. To build a successful, sustainable cattle fattening business, you require sufficient knowledge of how to efficiently do cattle pen fattening i.e cattle fattening techniques, good management skills, and a good business plan. Cattle fattening farming is a lucrative business, but there are some essential things you need to do before you venture into the livestock farming business. You have to decide on the size of your livestock project i.e. the number of cattle you want to keep per cycle; location of the business e.g. a cattle farm, and your target market. These choices will be affected by the amount of capital you have, and the size of your target market. If you do not have a lot of capital, you can always start small and grow your business overtime. You also need to carry out market research (Who are you going to sell the cattle or beef to? At what price?) and write a beef cattle farming business plan before you venture into the business. If you want to raise capital from investors you will have to present good cattle fattening project proposal. What you need Land, Housing and Equipment A large enough area must be available for erecting the necessary feedlots. Assessment on the suitability of the plot for cattle fattening farming should be conducted. It is advisable to locate the project nearer to good roads as that will help minimize costs. This will also enable the farmer have easy access to and from the project. There should be a reliable source of clean water that can be used for both human and animal consumption, such as boreholes, rivers and dams. In case of inadequate water source, a reservoir could be constructed. You will need to construct feedlots for the cattle. A beef cattle feedlot/pen is a confined yard area with watering and feeding facilities where cattle are completely hand or mechanically fed for the purpose of beef fattening. Feeding is done under confinement to prevent loss of energy through movement. Proper housing is important in successful beef fattening business. Adequately protect animals against the adverse effects of weather when they are raised in relatively small areas. Cattle housing must offer very easy access to food and water, freedom of movement, ventilation that prevents harmful effects from poor air quality and natural ventilation and light. Cattle for Fattening One of the bulls bought for the fattening business on our farm You need the cattle to feed in order to start cattle beef fattening business. There are two options, either you use cattle from your own herd, or you purchase the cattle from other farmers. You have to be careful when buying cattle to use for cattle pen fattening. If you make the wrong decision, you will be in a loss before you even start the cattle fattening business. When buying the cattle, you should be able to evaluate the potential for beef fattening of different types of cattle, in relation to the market price of different grades of beef. Factors to consider include breed of cattle, gender, maturity type, and age. This is because different types of cattle respond differently to the beef fattening process. Some cattle are more suited for cattle fattening than others. Money to buy cattle must be available at all times. A lack of funds to buy the cattle for beef fattening when prices are favourable is a lost opportunity to make a profit. Feed and Nutrition It’s very essential that you give the right quantity and type of feed to your cattle. The success of your cattle fattening business depends on the ability of the cattle to gain weight and to produce high quality beef. These factors are affected by the quality and quantity of feed. The proper feeding techniques will ensure that the cattle will grow and utilize the feed efficiently and produce good quality beef. This will maximize your profits of the cattle fattening farming business. Failing to properly feed the cattle will lead to losses. The losses will be due to failure to meet the target slaughter weights and beef quality grade. There are companies which sell cattle fattening stock feeds. These are complete, balanced feeds, which are designed for fattening cattle in feedlots over 90 days. The stock feeds are high energy fattening meals which contain all the nutrients necessary for ad lib cattle pen fattening. You can also make your own home-made cattle beef fattening feeds. The amount of feed consumed by the cattle daily will depend on factors such as live weight and age of the cattle. Normally, it averages between 8-15kg per head per day or 3.4% of a steer’s live mass per day. The average daily weight gain at 350Kg live mass is about 1.6Kg. When you sell your cattle to the abattoir or butcher, they will slaughter it and grade the beef according to its quality. Beef is graded in two ways: quality grades for tenderness, juiciness and flavour; and yield grades for the amount of usable lean meat on the carcass. After fattening cattle in feedlots for 90 days, its beef should fetch the highest quality grade. This grade is usually called Prime beef or Super beef. This is the beef which fetches the highest price on the market. The purpose of cattle fattening is to increase the weight of the cattle over 90 days (more weight, more money when you sell) and to increase the quality of the beef (higher grade of beef, more money when you sell). Management and Labour The number of farm workers you need will depend on the size of your cattle fattening farming project. If you are running a small business you and your family may be enough to take care of the cattle. However, if you are fattening many cattle e.g. 200 cattle, you will need full time employees to manage the herd. There is need for good technical knowledge of cattle fattening techniques for success in the business, and good management skills. You need to understand the techniques of effectively raising cattle for beef. Some farmers don’t take farming as a business, thus they will never be successful, as they don’t properly manage it. Capital The amount of capital required for cattle fattening business depends on the scale of the cattle pen fattening project. Start-up Capital is needed for constructing the feedlots, buying the cattle, buying the stock feeds e.t.c. Sources of capital include bank loans, and equity investors. If you plan to raise capital from investors, you need good cattle fattening project proposal. Don’t have access to capital? Start small, and grow your business overtime! Cattle farming is very profitable, so if you reinvest the profits you get, you can quickly grow your business. You will require good cattle fattening business plan to guide you in your business. Source of Article
The Nile: farming, source of food, tourism, electricity, etc
AYEN Farmstead enjoys 2 Kms of the river banks of Aswa River. Aswa is a tributary to the White Nile which pours its waters into the River Nile. The distance from the Aswa’s headwaters to joining the White Nile is about 185 miles.All along, it is a source of water for farming and household use to the communities along it. They also depend on it for fishing which plays a crucial protein source in their meals. Some use it for swimming and other recreation purposes. The River flows through the northern central part of the country, draining much of Uganda’s northern plateau and northeastern highlands, before crossing the border into South Sudan (there, it is known as Aswa River ) where it joins the White Nile, then the River Nile. See different angles of the Aswa River from our Farm… Facts about the River Nile The Nile River is the longest river in the world. It has a length of about 6,695 kilometers (4,160 miles) and a basin size of 3,400,000 km2 (1,300,000 sq mi). Its average discharge is 3.1 million liters (680,000 gallons) per second. The Nile, a north-flowing river in Africa, is among the world’s longest waterways, famed for its ancient history and the archaeological sites along its shores. The fertile Lower Nile gave rise to early Egyptian civilization and is still home to the Great Pyramids and Sphinx of Giza near Cairo. Sightseeing boats, from luxury liners to traditional felucca sailboats, also cruise between the cities of Luxor and Aswan. What countries does the Nile river flow through? Flowing northward through the tropical climate of eastern Africa and into the Mediterranean Sea, the river passes through 11 countries: Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Sudan and Egypt. Who owns the Nile? Five upstream Nile nations — Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda — signed a treaty declaring their rights to a share of the river’s flow. They said they would no longer be bound by a treaty drawn up by the British in 1959. Which country is most dependent on the Nile River? Egypt relies on the Nile for 90% of its water. Egyptian civilization developed along the Nile River in large part because the river’s annual flooding ensured reliable, rich soil for growing crops. … Ancient Egyptians developed wide-reaching trade networks along the Nile, in the Red Sea, and in the Near East. Ethiopia also heavily depend on the Nile river basin. What Animals Live in The Nile River? Nile Crocodile. The Crocodylus niloticus or the Nile crocodile is one of the most feared and revered residents of the Nile River. Also present is the Hippopotamus, Nile Perch, Nile Soft-shelled Turtle, Nile River Snakes, African Tigerfish, and Nile Monitor.
Soya Milk: You can prepare it at home too
Soy milk, also locally known as soya milk, is a plant-based drink produced by soaking and grinding soybeans, boiling the mixture, and filtering out remaining particulates. It is a stable emulsion of oil, water, and protein. Its original form is a natural by-product of the manufacture of tofu. Falling back on an african proverb: “travel teaches how you see“. Our staff went visiting and was served soya milk. He found it tasty and so asked how it is prepared: Get soya bean of any quantity you prefer. Soat then wash it and soak it in water overnight. To obtain the right amount of water. put water in the soya and the level at which it stops, double it. In the morning, discard water and rinse soya beans. After, remove skins as best you can. this is optional though. Add soybeans and 4 cups water to blender. Blend until smooth. Strain the blended mixture using butter muslin or a nut milk bag. … Heat the strained milk in a heavy-bottom pan to 212ºF (100ºC) Nutrition Content Healthline claims that soya beans are mainly composed of protein but also contain good amounts of carbs and fat. They go ahead to claim that for every 100 grams of boiled soybeans are: Calories: 173 Water: 63% Protein: 16.6 grams Carbs: 9.9 grams Sugar: 3 grams Fiber: 6 grams Fat: 9 grams Saturated: 1.3 grams Monounsaturated: 1.98 grams Polyunsaturated: 5.06 grams Omega-3: 0.6 grams Omega-6: 4.47 g How long can Soy Milk last The fresh soya milk can be stored in refrigerator for up to 5 days. If you can’t finish all, just re-boil the soy milk after a few days; this will make it store in the refrigerator longer Can Soy milk be taken daily? The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) notes that research shows up to three servings a day has been found to be safe. Soy contains isoflavones, which act like estrogen in the body. Since many breast cancers need estrogen to grow, it would stand to reason that soy could increase breast cancer risk.
Common Types of Goats in Uganda
Status of goat keeping According to estimates by the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), there were around 13.5 million goats in Uganda in 2018. This was however a tremendous growth in numbers from just 3.5million goats in 1990, 5.7 million in 1996 and around 7.6million in 2002. About 95% of goats in Uganda are indigenous breeds, while just 5% are cross breeds or pure exotic goats like the savannah, toggenberg and boer. These were imported to improve meat and milk production from cross breed off springs. However, the challenge is that most farmers cannot distinguish the various goat breeds hence leading to indiscriminate cross breeding, unsuccessful breeding programmes and reducing the intended benefits. The Savana goats The most profitable goats at the moment are the white savanna goat. The white Savana goat offers more opportunities because of its niche market Arabian market, especially for its meat. The savana breed was developed from indigenous goats of South Africa. Various farmers bred what was known as white Boer goats for a number of years in South Africa. One of the advantages of these white goats was the fact that the white color is dominant over most other colors. The other reason is that there is a big demand for white goats for slaughter purposes for various reasons. The savana have large pendulous (floppy) ears and a convex face (‘Roman nose’). The savannah has a high reproductive rate of around 10% triplets and 50% twins in its lifetime. The Boer goats These also have their origins from South-Africa. They are characteristically white with chest-nut red head and white main body.The horns are prominently rounded and set well apart, growing with a gradual backward curve. The head is strong with large eyes. Ears are visibly broad, drooping and medium length. The coat is soft, smooth and glossy while the hairs are short to medium in length. Boer goats are excellent meat producers and produce good quality skin. The females are ready to start kidding by eight months and can kid 3times in two years. They have high reproductive rates of 7% triplets and 50% twins. Mature males can grow to 120kgs while females weigh 100kgs. Saanen These originate from Switzerland. The saneen is white in color. If well fed,, a saanen can produce up to 7 liters of milk, making it good for milk and milk products businesses.. A female can grow up to 63-77kg whereas the male, 80-100kgs of live body weight. They have shot fur, have no horns and have higher chances of producing 2 kids per birth. It is important to note that a saanen does not prefer hot areas. Toggenburg They are brownish in color with a white line on the face, legs and tail. The male often weighs between 70 – 110 kgs while the female 60 – 70 kgs as live body weight. A toggenburg can produce up to 5 liters of milk if well looked after. More, it is excellent for cheese and butter making because it have a higher butter fat content. Other Local Breeds are … The Mubende Goats The Mubende goat is an indigenous breed from the Kabale and Bundibugyo districts of Uganda. This breed has shiny, straight hair that is normally black or a mixture of black and white. Its meat is of high quality, as is its skin, which is used as leather in the tanning industry. Males have manes, and usually are hornless. Adult males weight 25 – 35 kg, and females weigh 22 – 28 kg. It has a high twinning rate. Kigezi breed This has origins from the highlands of Kabale and Bundibugyo districts. It has a small compact, short legged body. Average weight is about 30 kg. The Small East African goat Kept for meat, the Small East African goat grows slowly, has a heavy-set conformation and is resistant to heartwater (a tick-borne disease) and worms and possibly other diseases such as mange. The hides give a good quality leather. An adult weighs between 25- 30kg and the age for first kidding is 18 months. Sudanese Dwarf goat Found in the Acholi and Karamoja regions, these goats are much smaller than the Small East African goats. Although, the Karimojong milk them sometimes, it is only the large numbers kept that make this feasible–only 100ml, or occasionally 200ml of milk is obtained per goat. Karamoja goat: This breed is adapted from the Karamoja region. It is suitable for the arid areas of Kotido, Moroto,Abim and Nakasongola districts. It is a short-haired, mainly white breed. It is a relative of the Galla goats breed of Kenya. Crossing with local goats When a farmer crosses an exotic with a local breed, the kids will be 50% (100%/2). If the kids (50%) are again crossed with a local, then those kids born will be 25% (50%/2) If the kids (50%) are again crossed with the pure exotic breed, then the kids born will be (100%+50%=150%/2=75%) “Gradually, you can build your stock into the pure bred using the formulae above. It is also important to note that crossed goats are more resilient to diseases compared to pure breeds.
Worm Casting: Plant Super Food
Worm castings are an organic form of fertilizer produced from earthworms. Also known as vermicast, worm castings manure is essentially earthworm waste, otherwise known as worm poo. Benefits: Worm Castings don’t only stimulate plant growth, they enhance the ability of your soil to retain water (because of its texture), thereby inhibiting root diseases such as root rot. Unlike animal manure and artificial fertilizers it is absorbed easily and immediately by plants. How it works: As these creatures eat through compost, their waste creates an optimal soil enricher. Worm castings resemble football-shaped particles that improve soil aeration and drainage, as well as increase water retention in the soil. Adding worm castings manure to the soil aerates and improves its overall structure while providing beneficial nutrients to plants Can you use worm casting for plants? Organic worm castings are excellent for plants. They contain all the essential nutrients that plants need in addition to enriching the soil in which the plants are grown. Not only can this fertilizer be used on nearly any type of plant, it can also be used directly on plants without burning them. Worm castings manure can be applied as top dressing, side dressing, or worked into the soil. Benefits of Worm Castings The humus in the worm castings extracts toxins and harmful fungi and bacteria from the soil. Worm Castings therefore have the ability to fight off plant diseases. The worm castings have the ability to fix heavy metals in organic waste. This prevents plants from absorbing more of these chemical compounds than they need. These compounds can then be released later when the plants need them Worm Castings act as a barrier to help plants grow in soil where the pH levels are too high or too low. They prevent extreme pH levels from making it impossible for plants to absorb nutrients from the soil. The humic acid in Worm Castings stimulate plant growth, even in very low concentrations. The humic acid is in an ionically distributed state in which it can easily be absorbed by the plant, over and above any normal mineral nutrients. Humic acid also stimulates the development of micro flora populations in the soil. Worm Castings increase the ability of soil to retain water. The worm castings form aggregates, which are mineral clusters that combine in such a way that they can withstand water erosion and compaction, and also increase water retention. Worm Castings reduce the acid-forming carbon in the soil, and increase the nitrogen levels in a state that the plant can easily use. Organic plant wastes usually have a carbon-nitrogen ratio of more than 20 to 1. Because of this ratio, the nitrogen is unavailable to plants, and the soil around the organic waste becomes acidic. How to make worm castings Making worm castings, or vermicomposting, is easy. Get Worm bins or boxes. These can be purchased or constructed and come in various sizes and styles. However, when making bins for this task, they should be shallow, between 8 and 12 inches (20-30 cm.) in depth, with drainage holes in the bottom. If they are too deep, they may become problematic with odors. Also, consider where you are going to place the bin. This is because smaller bins work better in the home, fitting just beneath the sink or other similar area. Layer the bottom with sand and strips of moist newspaper. Add compost, manure, or leaf litter and another layer of moist newspaper strips and soil. Now add some worms and food, such as kitchen scraps or garden waste. Wait a couple of weeks. To harvest: The Dump and Sort Method. Simply lay out a sheet of plastic or newspaper and empty out the contents of the worm bin. Collect the worms and add them to a fresh vermicompost bin, then use the leftover castings on your plants. Selection Method. Move the worm castings to one side of the bin while adding new bedding to the other side. Put fresh food on this side and within a couple of weeks, the worms should migrate over. Remove the castings. How to use Worm Castings: For Germination: Use 20 to 30% Worm Castings with sand as an excellent germination mixture. It will also ensure continuous and lush growth for about three months, without you having to add any other plant food. As a Soil Conditioner: If you hoe a layer of barren soil, add a layer of Worm Castings and give it some water, you will be surprised at the growth of your first season’s plants. As a Fertilizer: Sprinkle Worm Castings around the base of plants or lightly dig it in, and then add water. They can also be sprinkled on a large scale with a spreader. Remember: you cannot use too much Worm Castings, they cannot damage your plants. As a Liquid Fertilizer: Worm Castings can easily be mixed with water. Use 1 cup Worm Castings for every gallon of water and wait 1 week. This liquid mixture can be used as an excellent fertilizer or leaf foliate spray. It also helps to control insects. Many people prefer this method of application. Using organic worm castings in the garden is an excellent way to produce healthy soil and plants.
Farmers reap the benefits of digital literacy
Training gives rural women chance to transform their lives by using an app that helps them with their farming Until recently maize and beans farmer To Mdluli from Vryheid in northern KwaZulu-Natal was one of many rural women struggling to eke out a living under difficult conditions. Now, thanks to an innovative programme which trains rural women in digital literacy, her situation has improved. Mdluli is one of 600 small farmers from rural areas in Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and the Free State provinces taking part in the training programme, a partnership initiative between the Vodacom Foundation, UN Women and farming organisation South African Women In Farming (Sawif). “I have learnt a lot from the programme,” said Mdluli. “Even the farming methods I use now are different from those I used before.” Mdluli initially grew maize and bean crops on her family’s plot, but now she also leases another three fields from neighbours whose land was lying fallow. The programme was initially designed to introduce participants to the Connect Farmer app, but it was found that many participants were “digitally illiterate”, so it was changed to first teach digital literacy. The Connected Farmer app provides real-time information on what farmers are producing and helps to ensure that they have access to input and output markets. Takalani Netshitenzhe, chief officer of corporate affairs at the Vodacom Group, said similar programmes have proved successful in other emerging countries, such as Kenya. “Our female farmer initiative shines the spotlight on emerging small-scale female farmers within the agriculture sector,” Netshitenzhe said. “We’re confident that it will help drive development in rural areas, thereby strengthening food security, and assisting SA female farmers in claiming a stake in the agricultural sector.” Julia Madihlaba, who is a member of a farming co-operative from Tafelkop, near Groblersdal in Limpopo province, said the programme has helped her enormously. The six members of her co-operative are beneficiaries of a 171ha farm through the government’s land redistribution and agricultural development programme. They are producing poultry and eggs, cattle, pigs and maize. “I would really recommend the programme because it was an eye-opener for me and other farmers,” Madihlaba said. Deborah Motuku, president of South African Women in Farming, said the programme was a game changer for women farmers. “The digital and financial training is preparing us for bigger things and we are now confident in using digital platforms to transact, communicate and market our produce,” she said. Vuyo Mahlati, president of the African Farmers Association of SA, said her organisation endorses the training programme because women “need to be empowered to play a meaningful role in the economy of the country and the continent”. Source
Silent Farm Cost: Farm Fencing
A farm without a fence costs its owner alot more than they can imagine. This is because the animals escape to the neighboring lands and feed on their crops or trample on them. For the sake of good neighborliness and ethics, the farm owner has to pay for the garden(s) destroyed. When a neighbors garden is destroyed, often, either he/she approaches you and the matter is settled on spot; or a meeting with the local leaders is called. Either way, it is the complainant that determines the cost of the damage. negotiations may or not proceed on the matter. Payment is made and the friendship continues. This is a problem we did face on our farm for so long. Now unfortunately, because this kind of payment is made informally, it often does not appear in the farm books of accounts. It is often taken out of the proprietors pocket and therefore never accounted for. However, when we sat down and calculated one time, we realised that indeed it is a high amount. it is then we decided to (1) reflect it in our farm books (2) invest and fence off the whole farm. The fence at AYEN FarmStead There are a number of fence types a farmer can use. The market presents a variety. On our part, because our land is very big, we opted for the cheaper one. We cut poles from the farm. We bough barbed wire size: 2.0 mm wire diameter × 650 m length × 50 kg/roll and used it to fence the 500 acres. We placed two strands: one and a half foot off the ground and the next, again one and a half foot away. This keeps the cows within the farm. This kind of spacing is not suitable for the goats and sheep because they can pass through. However, we do not graze the shoats towards the farm boundaries and so not necessary. How do you build a great fence? Sharing tips from Farm Progress … 1. Buy the right materials. Before purchasing fencing supplies, take some time to consider the fence’s purpose. What type of livestock will it be keeping in? What type of wildlife will it be keeping out? What will the stocking densities be? “Depending on stocking densities, a fence is either a physical barrier or a boundary,” he says. The answers to these questions help determine fencing materials and design. 2. Build a good brace. The brace, Sarson says, “is the heart and soul of the fence.” If a brace is built incorrectly, it doesn’t matter the quality of materials or skill applied to installing the rest of the fence. If the brace fails, the fence fails. A well-built brace can absorb 6,000-pounds of pressure. 3. Use round, not square wood posts. Round posts, with all the growth rings in-tact, have the strength of the tree. Those growth rings that make that tree stand strong, will do the same for the fence. A round post is basically a full tree treated. Square posts are susceptible to rot and are not as strong because they are either made of heartwood, which will not absorb treatment or include only partial growth rings. Depending on terrain, availability and preference welded pipe braces are also a viable option. 4. Use brace pins to hold the brace together. Go with brace pins instead of notching the wood. 5. Use high tensile strength. Tensile strength increases the longevity of a fence and reduces cost per foot. The greater the tensile strength, the smaller the gauge, lighter weight and more flexible the steel, which reduces cost per roll, risk of sag and number of fence posts needed to complete the project. 6. Get the ratio right. Use one round wood post to every four T-posts. 7. Space posts properly. The distance between posts can vary depending on stocking density, terrain and type of fence. However, every dip and rise needs a post. Fastening high spots first makes it easier to achieve adequate tension. 8. Never hard-staple the wire. Leave enough room between the staple and the post so that the wire can move freely. This allows the wire to flex if an animal pushes against the fence and reduces the risk of sag and applies pressure to the brace instead of the post. More tips… How tall should a fence be for animals? Fence height should be at least 48 inches high to prevent animals from climbing over the fence. Woven wire fence can be used with cattle provided there are several strands of barbed top wires used to prevent the cattle from rubbing the woven wire down When the animals are in calf, and you are using barbed wire, align then closer, atleast one inch apart to prevent them from escaping How deep do you need to bury a fence post? The fence post should be buried not less than 2 feet. This makes it firm on the ground. For the wire mesh, bury atleast 1 foot. This prevents the animals from uprooting it.
Endangered indigenous tree species in Acholi Sub-Region
Indigenous trees are trees that are native to a particular area. They are important because of their social, economic and ecological functions such as controlling erosion, contribute to human quality of life, provide sinks for carbon dioxide and methane at the interface between the decaying fallen leaves and the soil and are a source of biodiversity. They have evolved to cope with particular conditions, circumstances or situations in that area. Indigenous trees in Acholi Sub-Region common ones are: Africana Afzelia (commonly known as African Mahogany…see main picture), Mvule, Palm trees, Mahogany and Shea Subsistence needs of the Indigenous Trees … These trees are not only a source of food but also for shade against their harsh weather. More, they act as wind breakers, sources of medicines, construction materials and timber, as well as making baskets to the natives of the area. They have a lot of environmental value. They play a big role in Soil conservation, watershed, carbon sequestration and climate regulation. The value of this service is not easy to be quantified. These trees are being chopped down due to increasing population that in turn exerts pressure on the land. The prevailing poverty does not help. the roots and backs are removed and eaten by the population. Aim to protect the Indigenous Trees … Shea Nut There is no proper governance to protect these trees. In 2018 though, the Government of Uganda, through ministry of Water and Environment suspended any cutting, transportation and sale of shea nut and afzelia africana tree logs and their products. This is because the specie had become highly endangered due to uncontrolled rampant, illegal, harvesting and trading in the logs and their products.
African farmers increase yields and income with their smartphones
From drones and big data to financing apps, advanced technology can be a game changer More farmers across Africa are set to turn to digital solutions within the next three years, which will boost productivity and, potentially, employment across the value chain, according to a new study. More farmers across Africa are set to turn to digital solutions within the next three years, which will boost productivity and, potentially, employment across the value chain, according to a new study. “In fact, it could even be a significant job creator, opening up hundreds of thousands of jobs in agricultural technology, digital solutions support, agricultural processing, and agricultural manufacturing jobs.” The study includes interviews with more than 120 agribusiness leaders, technology experts, digital solution providers, donors, investors, policymakers and academics across the continent. Among the digital solutions tracked and analysed in the report were farmer advisory services, which provide weather or planting information via SMS or smartphone applications, and financial services, including loans and insurance for farmers. Other solutions linked farmers with markets for farm inputs and farm produce, or provided supply chain management to improve traceability and last-mile logistics. Some services used satellite imagery, weather data, powerful big data analytics and machine learning techniques to deliver valuable real-time agricultural insights and forecasts at national and regional levels. More than a third of participants in the study said they already used at least one form of advanced technology such as drones, field sensors, big data or machine learning, and most respondents said they expected to integrate these types of technologies into their operations in the next three years. Figures indicated that farmers saw improvements in yields ranging from 23% to 73% and increases of 18% to 37% in incomes from using these solutions. Models that bundled more than one solution together— so-called “super platforms”, which combine digital market linkages, digital finance and digital advisory services — were associated with yet further improved yields of up to 168%. The authors of the report highlighted that several of today’s barriers — notably, limited access to technology and connectivity — will begin to be overcome. “In particular, we expect that most farmers will have access to a mobile phone by 2030. Many will also have access to smartphones; already more than 25% of smallholder farmers in countries like Kenya and Senegal report access to smartphones; these numbers are projected to grow quickly. The cost of data will continue to fall and growing, thriving mobile money ecosystems around the continent will serve as a strong foundation upon which to build platforms for digital transactions.” They added: “Given that Africa will achieve near universal phone access in the coming years, current growth trends suggest that 100-million smallholder farmers could be registered for digital services within three years and as many as 200-million smallholders will sign on by 2030.” Michael Hailu, director of CTA said: “Digitalisation can be a gamechanger in modernising and transforming Africa’s agriculture, attracting young people to farming and allowing farmers to optimise production while also making them more resilient to climate change.” Source
Goat Meat Products Cabrito is meat from very young, milk fed goats between 4 and 8 weeks of age. Chevon may be goat from 48 to 60 pounds and 6 to 9 months of age. Capretto is the Italian term “kid goat.” Whatever you call it, goat meat, when prepared properly, is delicious. Source of Picture For centuries goat meat has been enjoyed throughout the world, Uganda inclusive. It is cooked in various ways: boiled, barbecued, fried, and some cultures even eat it raw. Many say that it is more sumptuous than cows meat. In Uganda, it is also more expensive. Goat meat is approximately the equivalent in caloric value to chicken and has less than half the calories of beef and pork per serving. This is desirable for persons with a need to reduce their caloric intake. Goat Fiber Products The two most common fibers produced from goats are mohair and cashmere. Angora goats produce mohair. Cashmere is a type of fiber, not a breed and goats are selected for the fiber they produce. Unfortunately, we do not have these in Uganda today. Goat Dairy Products Goat’s milk is delicious, nutritious and wholesome. Milk Comparison: Source of Picture Goat milk the milk is good for babies not breastfeeding. This is because of its high nutrition content as compared to cows. It is also excellent for those with high blood pressure as well as those with allergies. Goat’s milk is naturally homogenized, which means the cream remains suspended in the milk, instead of rising to the top, as in raw cow’s milk. The fat globules are smaller than those in cow’s milk and the curd is softer and smaller, making the di Cheese from Goats Milk: Source of Picture gestion easier. Those who are allergic to cow’s milk may tolerate and thrive on goat’s milk. Goat’s milk is used for drinking, cooking and baking. It is used to make cheese, butter, ice cream, yogurt and body products. Goat’s milk is naturally emulsified. Cream does not rise readily, but can be obtained with a mechanical separator. Then because of the whiter nature of goats milk, the resulting cheese and butter is also whiter than that made from cows milk. Goat Leather Goat leather is soft and fine grained when well cured. It is used to make many kinds of quality leather items Soap from Goats Soap from Goats Milk: Source of PictureCleanses Gently Yet Deeply. Goatsmilk can very well make soap. Those that have used it say it has deep cleansing effect; and that it also gives health and nourished skin. It is known to keep the skin soft and moisturized, even after use. It prevents premature aging and keeps the skin acne-free. More, it is known to relieve irritation and inflammation. In cvase of an injury, when applied, the skin heals faster. It is even known to heal skin infections faster as well as maintain pH balance in the skin. Goat Lotion Milk made from Goats Milk: Source of the Picture Body lotion made from goats milk leaves a rather soft powder feel. It leaves your skin feeling silky smooth to the touch. The moisturizing benefits of goat milk lotion far surpass that of commercial lotion because of the natural creams of goat milk.
Adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) in Agriculture and Smart Farming towards Urban Greening: A Review
It is essential to increase the productivity of agricultural and farming processes to improve yields and cost-effectiveness with new technology such as the Internet of Things (IoT). In particular, IoT can make agricultural and farming industry processes more efficient by reducing human intervention through automation. In this study, the aim to analyze recently developed IoT applications in the agriculture and farming industries to provide an overview of sensor data collections, technologies, and sub-verticals such as water management and crop management. In this review, data is extracted from 60 peer-reviewed scientific publications (2016-2018) with a focus on IoT sub-verticals and sensor data collection for measurements to make accurate decisions. Our results from the reported studies show water management is the highest sub-vertical (28.08%) followed by crop management (14.60%) then smart farming (10.11%). From the data collection, livestock management and irrigation management resulted in the same percentage (5.61%). In regard to sensor data collection, the highest result was for the measurement of environmental temperature (24.87%) and environmental humidity (19.79%). There are also some other sensor data regarding soil moisture (15.73%) and soil pH (7.61%). Research indicates that of the technologies used in IoT application development, Wi-Fi is the most frequently used (30.27%) followed by mobile technology (21.10%). As per our review of the research, we can conclude that the agricultural sector (76.1%) is researched considerably more than compared to the farming sector (23.8%). This study should be used as a reference for members of the agricultural industry to improve and develop the use of IoT to enhance agricultural production efficiencies. This study also provides recommendations for future research to include IoT systems’ scalability, heterogeneity aspects, IoT system architecture, data analysis methods, size or scale of the observed land or agricultural domain, IoT security and threat solutions/protocols, operational technology, data storage, cloud platform, and power supplies. Read Full Article
How AI is transforming agriculture
With the global population soaring, the agricultural sector is facing a crisis, but AI has the potential to deliver much-needed solution AI-powered technologies are getting to be more pervasive across several industries in the world today; finance, transport, energy, healthcare and now agriculture. Agro-based firms are looking for new ways to attain and maintain a competitive edge and boost their productivity, as well as to deliver new products and services to the market. Over the last few years, the growth in AI technology has strengthened agro-based businesses to run more efficiently. Meanwhile, according to the latest UN projections, world population will rise from 6.8 billion to 9.1 billion in 2050 – a third more mouths to feed than there are today while only 4% of additional land will come under cultivation by then. According to the same survey, during this time, food production will have to increase by 70% as factors such as climate change, population growth and food security concerns propel the agro-industry into seeking more innovative approaches to protecting and improving crop yield. AI-powered solutions will not only enable farmers to do more with less, they will also improve quality and ensure faster go-to-market for crops. While we may just be at the early stage of this transformation, here are some major ways AI is transforming the agricultural sector. Image recognition: Employing the use of agricultural drones would help increase crop production and monitor crop growth. Drones that uses AI helps farmers to scan their fields and monitor every stage of the production cycle. This will help farmers to make data-driven decisions. Agricultural drones let farmers see their fields from the sky. This birds-eye view would expose intending issues on the farm such as irrigation problems, soil variation as well as pest and fungal infestations. Having identified these issues, the farmer can come up with solutions to improve crop management and production. This AI technology is transforming the agricultural sector, as farmers can depend on the data that drones record to determine the state of the farm rather than walking all the distance. This gives the farmer time to focus on the big picture of production and expansion instead of spending excess time surveying their crops and the state of the farm. Article by theinnovationenterprise.com
Production and Evaluation of Bread Made from High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) and Wheat Flour Blends
Bread prepared from blends of high quality cassava flour (HQCF) and wheat flour (WF) was evaluated to determine the suitability of HQCF as a partial replacement for wheat flour. Bread was prepared using ratios of 0:100, 10:90, 20:80, 30:70, 40:60 and 50:50 HQCF/WF respectively and assessed for their physico-chemical, physical and sensory properties. The results showed that bread with higher levels of HQCF had higher moisture and carbohydrates content but lower ash, fat and fibre contents. The moisture content significantly varied from 28.51 to 35.01%. The high moisture content of the HQCF replaced bread samples may be attributed to the higher carbohydrates (starch) which has tendency for water uptake and retention. This is evidenced by the higher loaf weight and loaf density of the HQCF replaced bread samples. However, loaf volume and oven spring were negatively affected by increased incorporation of HQCF in bread, suggesting that the low protein content of HQCF may be responsible. The results of the sensory evaluation revealed that replacement of wheat flour with HQCF beyond 10% negatively affected sensory attributes, supplementation levels between 20–30% were tolerated by the panelists. It is therefore concluded that HQCF can be used as a potential replacement for wheat flour in the baking of bread. Click to read full article
Empowering female farmers to feed the world
Closing the global gender gap in agriculture would grow food production and build sustainable futures for women. In much of the world, the face of farming is female. Globally, reports the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the majority of economically active women in the least-developed countries work in agriculture. And, according to the 2012 Census of Agriculture (the latest data available), 30 percent of farmers in the U.S. are women. The problem? Gender-specific obstacles—such as lack of access to land, financing, markets, agricultural training and education, suitable working conditions, and equal treatment—put female farmers at a significant disadvantage before they ever plow a field or sow a seed. Arguably, the biggest roadblock is land rights. In developing countries, only 10 to 20 percent of landholders are women, and in some parts of the world, women still cannot legally own or control land. When a female farmer isn’t empowered to make decisions about the land she works, it is impossible for her to enter contract farming agreements that could provide higher earnings and reliable sources of income. In addition, entrenched gender roles in developing countries can prevent women from bringing their crops to market or even leaving their villages without their husband’s permission. While female farmers in the U.S. don’t face the same restrictions, Lorie Fleenor, 33, an eighth-generation Bristol, Tennessee, farmer, says persistent gender bias in agriculture makes it “easier” to have her husband, Ben, handle business transactions and phone calls for the family’s Magna Vista Farm. “Even though I run the farm and make the decisions, they [male farmers] don’t want to talk to me about when to cut hay, or when to sell cattle, or how much rain we’ve gotten. They want to talk to a man,” she explains. “I guess being a woman, you have to go above and beyond to prove yourself.” Yet, even with female farmers expending extra effort (worldwide, women work more hours per year than men), they substantially lag behind their male counterparts when it comes to crop yields and earnings. On average, women-run farms produce 20 to 30 percent less than farms run by men. The reasons for this “crop gap,” according to the FAO, have nothing to do with an aptitude for farming and everything to do with the gender-specific obstacles. Inherent gender bias in the economic system, for example, regularly limits a woman’s access to credit. That’s especially true for smallholder female farmers in developing countries where cultural norms and lack of collateral often prevent women from borrowing money. Without adequate funds for capital investments, female farmers are less likely than men to buy and use fertilizer, drought-resistant seeds, sustainable agricultural practices, and other advanced farming tools and techniques that increase crop yields. Abolishing gender-specific barriers in farming, the FAO reports, would not only empower women to achieve their highest economic potential, it could help feed a hungry world. According to the FAO, most of the approximately 820 million people worldwide who are currently undernourished live in developing countries—the same places where women are key to food production. Giving females access to the same resources and education as males could increase food production by women by up to 30 percent, potentially eliminating hunger for 150 million people. In addition, the FAO asserts, earning extra income would enable women to spend more money on health care, nutrition, and education for their children—investments that could produce long-term, positive results for farm families and their neighbors
Sexed Semen Technique: A Revolution in Indian Dairy Industry
India is unique in its appreciation of the cow culturally with less than 40% of India’s cows productive. НLs coupled with high milk demand renders the male calf not productive and thus non-required and are oіen castrated early in life and mostly left unattended. Sexed semen is simply as the name states, semen that has been separated to contain sperm that will most likely produce a male or female offspring. In today’s dairy industry, producers need to implement strategies that will produce results and help them gain a competitive edge in their market. Using sexed semen is one such strategy, that, when used properly on a dairy, can help farmers grow their herds internally. As small farms are converted into larger operations, there are a number of issues that must be dealt with in order to achieve a smooth transition. Taking advantage of sexed semen technology, heifers will be born as oіen as 95% of the time, instead of 49% of the time when using semen that is not sorted for sex Click to read full article
5 Ways Digital Technology Can Enable Sustainable Agriculture in Asia
With 144 million farmers in Asia, there are massive efficiencies to be gained if technology can help farmers gain access to credit, produce higher value crops and connect more seamlessly to markets. But there remain significant hurdles to overcome before small farmers are ready to exploit the advantages presented by technology. Debt Cycle Foremost among these is the debt cycle. In rural communities, the traditional cycle of debt for farmers has been ingrained for generations. Many farmers simply don’t know about or seek out alternatives. Typically, farmers have no other options than to borrow money from local loan sharks for seed and fertilizer. Then, they are obligated to sell their crops back to these middlemen without an awareness of market prices. It’s exceptionally hard to break through these customs. Banks are not incentivized to reach small farmers, as returns are minimal in relation to costs, and while banks in the region have developed online tools to make consumer banking easier, these aren’t reaching farmers. For their part, farmers are highly sensitive to data costs, so in most cases, they won’t even use tools that require spending on data. New Certification Schemes New certification schemes are promising as a means to increase prices to smallholder farmers, but they require more extensive education and more rigorous data collection than smallholders can currently access. One answer is in big projects aiming to work at scale. One participant implored the group to “stop trying to help 20 small farmers at a time. We need to work with the whole supply chain.” Consumers need to be engaged in seeking out ethically sourced products. Industry has to pay more for produce, commented one participant. Mills must be willing to pay more. The mills often control the price of rice, so it’s important to educate them on the increase in quality that can come with increased rates. New Low-cost Drones New, cheaper drones are one example of where technology provides a vision for agricultural innovation and cost savings, but at the moment, this potential is off limits to many smallholders. Drones are being used to capture imagery which can then be analyzed to project yields, identify crop diseases, assess chemical needs and usage, and even spray pesticides in much more targeted quantities. But the advanced data analysis tools required to capitalize on these possibilities are far beyond the economic reach and digital literacy of most small rural farmers. Meanwhile larger agribusinesses are putting these tools to use, and gaining efficiencies while smallholders fall further behind. General-use Technologies At the margins, there are some more general-use technologies available now that can improve the lives of smallholders. Mobile finance apps can make credit and market information more easily available. Targeted digital agricultural credit products are now appearing as well. The obstacle here is basic digital literacy. While in Southeast Asia a growing number of farmers have smartphones, there is a very small percentage that uses them for farming information. One participant suggested smallholder farmer MOOCs based on pictures as an e-learning solution that inspires farmers to change their practices. A new generation of young, start-up farmers who are more open to new ideas and more adept with technology provides some hope for more widespread use of technology in agriculture, but at the moment, in Thailand young people are less than 1% of all farmers. Advanced Logistics With the ASEAN market deregulating and internal barriers coming down, smallholder farmers are facing increasing competition. Domestic markets are no longer sufficient, but more advanced logistics are necessary to reach wider ASEAN markets. Farmers need access to better marketing tools and the practices that will help their crops appeal across the region. So there is potential for technology to play a role, but there are still major hurdles to overcome. Source
Achieving Lucrative Beans Farming
How to start that lucrative beans farming Common beans grow well on more productive types of soils. They are, however, most frequently grown on low yielding soils but areas with annual rainfall of 400mm are 1,200mm mm are recommendable. Climbing beans grow well in high altitude areas mainly in the western region and Mt Elgon region of Uganda. Soils with median soil pH between 5.0 and 6.0 are recommended. Phosphorus is the most frequent deficient soil nutrient; soil nitrogen is also often limiting. The head of the bean programme at the National Crop Resources Research Institute, Dr Stanley Nkalubo with an expertise in breeding the crop gives excerpts about best practices farmers growing beans can adopt to get improved yield. Soil preparation Dr Nkalubo explains that soil preparations should start before the first rains in order to provide appropriate conditions for seed germination and plant development, including air circulation, improved infiltration, soil temperatures as well as for weed control. It is important to prepare a good seedbed where all the trash must be removed and disposed. It must not be burnt or left to rot in the field because this will cause spread of diseases Seed selection Farmers should choose cultivars for which there is a market. Select the best variety and do the seed selection too. It is important that you verify seed quality, consulting seed inspection services. It is important to source good seed with 90 per cent germination capacity, it must have uniform colour and seed volume. Seed rates vary from 20 to 30 kilogrammes per acre and a farmer who adopts the right agronomy practice will harvest between 450 to 600 kilogrammes per acre. Diseases Angular leaf spot, it affects the foliage and pods of beans in the field during the growing season. All parts above the ground are susceptible. Leaf Rust which affects leaves and sometimes stems and pods. The first symptoms appear on the undersurface of leaves as tiny, white, raised spots. These spots gradually enlarge and form reddish-brown pustules that erupt to release rusty masses of spores. Anthracnose spread through seed, air and water. It can affect all the above-ground tissues of the bean plant. Pests The pests include bean stem maggot, bruchid, caterpillars and bean weevils which feed on the leaves and stems causing damage to the plant. Bean weevils also feed on seeds after harvesting. Control Farmers are advised to apply appropriate pesticide as per directives from the manufacturer. Dr Nkalubo and his team offer four ways of control. •Farmers must apply fungicide commonly known as ridomil in their farms two weeks after planting to avoid destruction from pests. •Application of folia fertiliser also helps against pest and disease incidences. •Crop rotation and intercropping beans with crops such as maize, sorghum and others is important in controlling some of the soil borne diseases •Seeds should be treated with streptomycin or substitute. It is important to plant disease free seeds which farmers are expected to purchase from certified seed companies. Harvesting •At maturity a farmer can harvest green pods and sell the product fresh or wait for the crop to dry to process grains. •It is important to observe when the pods are yellow to start harvesting. Farmers are advised not to wait for the pods to dry completely in the field. There will be a challenge of weevil infestation and loss of grains. •Pod harvest from the field should be done early morning, because as temperature rises the pods become very dry and pods can open when removing from the shoots and let the grains fall into the ground. •The harvested plants should be left to dry using polythene papers, or cemented drying yards. Planting Farmers must plant the seed in rows or blocks and the right spacing is 50cm by 10cm or six inches between each seed. Plant the seeds two inches deep into the soil and cover it with the soft surface soil. If possible, let the seed eyes face the ground. Under normal circumstances and ideal conditions, bean would begin to sprout with six days of planting and grow into a good sprout within two weeks. The recommended seed varieties for common beans which are grown in the central, eastern and northern regions are the Nabe series 4, 15 – 21 and Narobean 1, 2 and 3 varieties. These are obtained from certified seed companies and at NaCRRI. The climbing bean varieties grown in western Uganda and on the slopes of Mountain Elgon are Nabe12C, 26C, 17C and 29C including Narobean 4C and 5C. These bean varieties can be obtained from Kachwekano Zonal Research and Development institute (KAZARDI) in Kabale and NaCRRI in Namulonge. Maintenance When soils are fertile, fertiliser application is not required but for soils which lack fertility, farmers are advised to apply 50 kilogrammes of diammonium phosphate (DAP) using the broadcasting method per acre. Farmers are obliged to apply inorganic fertiliser such as manure which must not contain pests and maggots because they may end up destroying the plant. Weeding Most farmers weed their fields once and some twice but it is advisable to maintain the farm weed free at all times to maximize yield. Bean farms can be intercropped with maize, sunflower and sorghum among others but a farmer should make sure the other crop species should not outgrow the beans. SOURCE: https://www.monitor.co.ug/Magazines/Farming/How-start-that-lucrative-beans-farming/689860-4557934-x687dkz/index.html
Maize Farming and Maintenance
How to plant maize and get good harvests. Maize is the one of the most widely grown cereal in the world under a range of ecological conditions. It consists of different species,colors, texture, grain shapes and sizes. White and yellow are the commonest and most preferred species in Africa. Climate Requirements Maize is a warm weather loving crop that grows in temperatures of 15.6 degrees Celsius and above. It grows well in areas receiving annual rainfall from 60cm to 300cm. It may however tolerate an annual rainfall of 250cm to400cm provided the field does not get flooded as water logging is hazardous for the crop at any stage. Soil Requirements Maize requires deep, fertile, well drained soils rich in organic matter. However, it can be grown on any type of soil ranging from deep heavy clay to light sandy soil. The soil should be of good texture and of high water holding capacity. How to Sow • During planting,put 2-3 seeds per hole depending on the variety and space at the depth of 2-5cm where sufficient moisture is available to enable germination. • Use line sowing method as it is the best for carrying out of agricultural practices such as inter cropping. • Note: Avoid using deep sowing for it affects germination and growth, however during dry zones, deep sowing is recommended for uniform germination. Maize varieties. Maize varieties are categorized into two; open pollinated varieties and hybrids. Open pollinated varieties include; Longe 4, Longe 5, MM3 while hybrids include; Pannar, DH04, H520, H513, Salongo, Kayongo Go 7H-1R,, H623, H624,H626 and H614D The table below shows the varieties of maize, their seed rate, yield per acre, spacing and maturity period VARIETY DESCRIPTION SEED RATE YIELD/ ACRE SPACING MATURITY PERIOD Longe 4 High quality maize 10kg 8-20 bags 75cm by 60cm without intercropping 90cm by 60 cm when intercropping 100-105 days MM3 Resistant to MSV, NLB and GLS 10kg 13-18 bags Same 90 days Longe 5 quality protein maize (double lysine 10kg 20bags Same 75cm by 25cm when planting one seed 115days Pannar Resistant to all maize diseases that are common Big grains with good milling ability Drought resistant 10kg 39 bags 75cm by 60cm/ 90cm by 60cm when intercropping 120 Salongo Quality protein maize (double lysine and tryptophan levels) Resistant to GLS, MSV and NLB Resistant to lodging The flour is tasty there it is good for milling 10 kg 29- 36 bags Same 120 days Longe 6H Resistant to MSV, GLS and NLB High yielding Good for boiling and has a sweet taste Good for roasting 10 kg 36 days Same 120 days Longe 7H drought resistant high yielding good for posho MSV, GLS, NLB resistant 10 kg 37 bags Same 120 days Longe 10H good for roasting resistant to MSV, NLB,GLS Erect leaves and good lodging resistance resistant 10 kg 42 bags Same 120 days DH04 short and drought resistant early maturing good for low to medium altitude zones 10kg 24bags same 80days H520 Resistant to foliar diseases and pests Performs best in altitude of 1200- 1800m 10kg 32bags Same 120 days Pests and Diseases that affect Maize Stem borers Damage • The adult moth lays eggs on the stalk which later hatches into larvae which then bores into the stem thus inhibiting translocation Control • Timely planting • Crop rotation • Use of chemicals like cypermethrin 5% EC where the above practices have failed. Fertilizer application At planting, • Use organic fertilizers like farmyard manure, chicken litter, and others by spreading it onto the garden 1-2weeks before planting. • Apply inorganic fertilizers like DAP, N.P.K, SSP and TSP at 50kg/acre using 1soda lid per hole and cover with little soil. • The seeds should not be in contact with the fertilizer as this may lead to poor germination or failure of seeds to germinate. After planting, • Top dress with urea at the rate of 50kg/acre when maize is at3-4weeks or knee height or between 6-10 leaves • Spread urea with in rows and cover with little soil. Best results are obtained when the soil is moist. Avoid putting urea directly on the plant as it has a scorching effect. Note Urea can also be used as a foliar feed by mixing 5 table spoons in 20lrs of water and spray every after 2 weeks. Other fertilizers like super green, vegmax, super-gro, and rapid-gro can also be used as foliar feeds. Weed control Maize should be kept weed free in order to avoid competition for nutrients and light between weeds and the crops. Chemical weed control • Use of herbicides like 2.4D 720gl/ltr by spraying in between plant and rows only if it’s a pure stand of maize.Only spray when maize is at knee height and above. When spraying, make sure that herbicide mist doesn’t reach the terminal bud of the maize plant as it causes yellowing of the plant plus a set- back in growing. • Apart from using herbicides, crop rotation helps control weeds in the garden. Harvesting To detect that maize has reached its time for harvesting, when it’s still green; • The grains produce milk when pressed. Detecting dried maize while still in the field, • The stalks and the leaves become dry. • The cobs drop down wards. • The grains become hard, no milk when pressed hard. • The outer covering of the cob will become brown [dry]. Note:If fully dried, maize should be treated with preservatives like Malathion dust 2%, Aluminum Phosphide, Shumba super dust. When using Malathion dust, mix well with the grains on a tarpaulin by using 5 table spoon [50gm]/sac of 90kg and then tie tightly.
Exposure to new technologies greatly impacts on sesame farmers in Northern Uganda Hellen Ogwal is the Chairperson of Agikdak Farmers Group in Agikdak village Amolatar district in Northern Uganda. Although she has been cultivating sesame and other crops in her village for over 20 years, she had never been able to harness the potential of the resource adequately due to low yield harvests and poor market for crops in her community. With limited crop farming knowledge and poor storage facilities for produce, most of her agricultural products were ruined by the increasing drought in the district and devastating crop pests and diseases. According to Hellen, the local sesame varieties they planted on large acreage (over 20 acres) yielded less than what one would expect from such a large field. The crop often succumbed to gall midge and webworm on top of being highly vulnerable to the climatic changes in the region. This posed a consistent threat to produce, highly affecting its quality. With support from the Netherlands, crop scientists and researchers from Africa Innovations Institute and consortium partners implementing the Stabilizing Sesame Yields and Production in the Lango Region, Northern Uganda project have supported many sesame farmers and farmer groups similar to Hellen through the development of drought tolerant varieties of Sesim 2 and Sesim 3 that are also highly resistant to pests and diseases. For a long time, Sesame farmers like Hellen had been expressing concern over yield losses and in 2015, the project has since worked to address these challenges through techniques that can effectively manage them. To date, Sesame farmers in Lira, Otuke and Amolatar districts in Northern Uganda are now better off growing sesame since they were introduced to and readily availed the improved varieties to grow. They have been trained on good agronomic practices/farming methods to reap formidable amounts from their farming investments. Hellen says, “Before the project came, our group was focused on farming sesame and other crops the rudimentary way. We did not plant in rows and rarely monitored the crop in the gardens. On top of ll this, we planted the local seed that was highly vulnerable. It was difficult to see any benefits. One time, we planted about 25 acres of the sesame local seed and lost a lot of yield due to drought and other set backs”. Hellen and fellow member of Agikdak Farmers Group winow the sesame harvest before storage “Personally, as a sesame farmer, i highly appreciate the project because a lot has changed for my family, but also the community at large. Am very influential in the community, being a woman in leadership because my role as the group chairperson has enabled my stature among other women who look up to me, and, many have since taken up leadership roles in churches and other community groups. Whenever I mobilized and engaged farmers from within and neighboring communities on teachings related to what the project extended to us, i was increasingly building my stature as a model farmer,” she adds. “The project has been a real blessing because through it i have gained skills and knowledge in proper crop management, accessed improved sesame varieties for higher yields and i have practiced this knowledge with my family. My very supportive husband and i plan to expand our gardens, plaster and finish our family home and also buy a motor cycle since we currently have a bicycle. We shall also continue to cater for the children’s school dues, as well as enjoy other benefits from the Sesame proceeds,” Hellen happily states. The Ogwal family infront of their family home in Agikdak, Amolatar district Hellen is 48 years and lives with her husband, Robert Ogwal of 52 years at their home in Agikdak Village, Amolatar district, Northern Uganda. The couple is blessed with 8 children of their own and took into their care, 3 children. Aside from sesame, the couple also grows cassava and currently own a 15 acre garden of the NAROCASS 1 improved variety. They intend to become one of the largest Sesim 3 variety multipliers as they move to commercialization and explore value addition to Sesame. The couple belongs to Agikdak Farmers’ Group that comprises 37 members. This year, 2018, the group plans to plant 100 acres of the sesema 3 improved variety. SOURCE: https://www.afrii.org/category/sesame/
Ground Nut Processing
Groundnut paste machine works wonders “The groundnut paste machine is more than a machine. In a day, it can do work that no human can,” says Micheal Ocaya, a groundnut farmer in Lira District. Having ventured into groundnut farming three years ago, Ocaya says his primary target was mainly to grow and sell groundnuts in their cereal form. Later when he was tipped off by a friend that he could make more money if he processed groundnuts, he bought into the idea and decided to buy a groundnut paste processing machine from Kampala at Shs2m. “I started processing groundnuts myself and selling it in form of paste. My profits increased from Shs150,000 to Shs250,000 a week because it came with value addition and a complete final product for the customer,” Ocaya recalls. Gilbert Owori, a businessman in Tororo District in eastern Uganda uses the machine to process groundnuts mixed with simsim for different customers. In some cases, he receives customers who prefer groundnuts processed into powder form, all using one machine. “All I do is just change the blades to serve each of the purposes because the one for processing groundnuts mixed with simsim cannot process groundnuts into powder form and the one for processing groundnuts into powder form cannot be used to process groundnut paste,” Owori says. “I run the machine alone and all I do is just keep wiping to clean out groundnuts that may get stack on the walls of the pan in which the processing is done,” Owori adds. What experts say Yahaya Ssegganga, the sales manager at Musa Body Machinery in Katwe which makes stainless steel groundnut paste machines says the machine uses a single power phase and that it comes in three different types. They include a three-kilogramme horsepower engine, five kilogramme and seven kilogramme horsepower engine. He says the three horsepower machine comes with a stainless steel pan, one switch, a three metre wire cable, an industrial socket and a mingling stick. The five horsepower and the seven horsepower stainless steel machines equally come with similar specifications and equipment as the three horsepower stainless steel machine. Mohammed Tusubira of Katwe Metal Works confirms the output of the machine. “We encourage farmers to buy this machine improve their income,” says Tusubira. Advantages Compared to the traditional manual mortal, the stainless steel groundnut machine uses a lot of speed in crushing. The quality of its output is finer than that of the manual pounding mortar, while not compromising or affecting the consumer. It is also not labour intensive, meaning that it can be operated by one farmer or person. Maintenance All it takes to maintain the groundnut paste machine is cleaning it using a wet cloth and sharpening the blades. “When you buy the machine, we give you someone to install it and check if the power connection is right. In case the power is an overload, they return it for rewinding,” Ssegganga observes. The cost of the machine ranges between Shs1.7m and Shs3m depending on the size. It is locally fabricated by different dealers. SOURCE: https://www.monitor.co.ug/Magazines/Farming/Groundnut-paste-machine-works-wonders/689860-4491094-format-xhtml-gl39amz/index.html
Earning Through Tree Planting
Kakuru grows money on trees, boosts natural forests. Due to the alarming rates at which Uganda continues to lose its natural forests, the government has embarked on giving incentives to private commercial tree growers to establish plantations as an alternative. Among the many is ADISON KAKURU, who has planted over 400 hectares of trees in Kyankwanzi district to reverse the despicable consequences of deforestation, writes Arthur Matsiko. Touring his tree estate in Kyankwanzi, Kakuru talks adoringly of how he has unearthed veiled gems in trees. He repeatedly laughs, sighs and shakes his head before scratching on the ebbing hairline as he recounts how he has submitted to the might of commercial forestry. Adison Kakuru in his tree plantation After two hours trekking through these trees which are at different stages of maturity, we rest at a section where his employees are felling trees from his four-year-old initial establishment. Kakuru tells me this is a second thinning exercise aimed at reducing them to make room for the growth of others. On every hectare, he plants the recommended 1,111 trees. After two years, the trees are thinned to 700, and to 500 after four years. It is from here that he waits to harvest for timber when they are nine years old. Profitable as this venture is, the 56-year-old is not waiting to ‘eat’ from timber. When we visited his plantation, the 56-year-old was cutting trees to supply 100,000 fencing poles to his clients. Selling each pole at Shs 2,000, Kakama is already Shs 200,000,000 richer. MOTIVATION After a comprehensive research about the effects of climate change and the need to restore ecological balance, Kakuru was inspired to venture into commercial tree farming. He had observed that across the continent, natural forests could hardly sustain the overwhelming demand for trees and their products. For example, African wood demand is estimated to be $100 billion by 2030, from $50 billion in 2015. Statistics from the National Forestry Authority (NFA) indicate that Uganda’s greatest forest cover loss was estimated at 250,000 hectares annually between 2005 and 2010. When put against an estimate of 7,000 hectares of planted forests established annually in the last 16 years, Kakuru realized there was a vacuum he could fill. Thus, armed with Shs 50 million he had accumulated in savings over the years, he approached NFA and was leased 525 hectares of land in Paala forest reserve in 2013. According to the lease agreement, Kakuru will be paying Shs 9,000 annually per hectare for 50 years. In his plantation, he has been planting eucalyptus clones and pine trees on at least 50 hectares every year. “Once you have timber or any wood product, they are on high demand. So, what motivated me was to reduce pressure on natural forests, earn money and also assist the surrounding communities to get employment,” he says. Statistics from the 2016 State of Uganda’s forestry report by the ministry of Water and Environment indicate that Uganda’s forest cover has reduced from 24 per cent of the total land area in 1990 to nine per cent in 2015. This implies that in 25 years, 3.05 million hectares of forests were lost. Globally, deforestation is estimated at 13 million hectares annually. Through commercial forestry, therefore, Kakuru wants to contribute towards restoring ecology. The Uganda Forestry Policy (2001) provides that “forest plantations may be established on private or institutional lands, either by the land owners themselves or under contract arrangements with other parties”. Going by such regulations, Kakuru is set to reap from this legalized lifetime profitable venture. SUPPORT A beneficiary of the UN’s Sawlog Production Grant Scheme (SPGS), Kakuru has been one of the 500 supported tree growers countrywide. He says SPGS gave him Shs 850,000 per hectare for his first plant on 90 hectares. Funded by the European Union, SPGS is a government of Uganda project implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. Leonidas Hitimana, the SPGS project coordinator, says beneficiaries are also inspected and provided with technical assistance and training to ensure the best out of their investment. “From the economic side, it is very important to use the right seedlings and all the operations very well,” he says. He adds that the proportion of forest cover, due to plantations, increased by 68,000 hectares – from 33,000 in 2005 to 101,000 in 2015. Lucrative as commercial forestry is, Kakuru’s trees grow amidst challenges such as pests and diseases that require spraying with chemicals which are usually expensive. In the next five years, Kakuru sees himself as a reliable distributor of timber and electricity transmission poles in East Africa and beyond. SOURCE: https://observer.ug/lifestyle/57482-kakuru-grows-money-on-trees-boosts-natural-forests.html
Rabbits bring quick money The profits from rearing rabbits can come in many ways: You can sell the urine because many farmers use it an insecticide, the manure for fertiliser and the meat whose demand is growing worldwide and is served in several hotels and restaurants. According to Julius Ayebale, a farmer in Rubanda District, it takes rabbits 70 days from birth to reach market weight. Benefits Young rabbits are weaned in a month, and the doe takes only a week to conceive again after weaning. This gives you a quick turn around and within a few months you will have as many rabbits as possible. He says that rabbits can be a valuable addition to the family income and although rabbit meat is not common in the supermarket in his area, he has found market among the local people because the meat is healthy, all white and tasty. “I started rearing rabbits about a year ago with only two rabbits; a doe and a buck and in a month, I had six young ones. Now I have 200 rabbits but keep on selling them at Shs20,000 each,” says Ayebale. Contrary to popular way people hold rabbits, grasping a rabbit by the scruff of its neck (the loose skin just on top of the shoulders) so that its head is facing away from you is the best way to pick a rabbit rather than holding its ears. In fact, picking it by the ears can cause injury and permanent damage. Little capital Rearing rabbits does not require a lot of space because they can live in cages. You need less capital unlike livestock and poultry farming according to Dr Moses Dralega who has reared rabbits for the last 10 years. “I bought the first rabbits when they were about a month old at Shs7,000. I only needed Shs50,000 to start the business and now it yields for me about Shs300,000 every month,” says Dr Dralega. The shelter Rabbits need a clean, well-ventilated cage protected from heat (rabbits love colder weather) and ready clean water and food are the criteria for raising healthy rabbits. Once you have decided to start the rabbit rearing business, it is important that you build a relatively good shelter in order to protect them from thieves and predators such as dogs and wild cats which often kill them. You may need furnishing for the hutch in a nesting box at kindling time. It may be about 12 x 16 inches square and 16 inches high, with an opening at one end large enough for the doe to enter. Put a removable lid to allow you examine the litter or change bedding when necessary. Line the nesting box with soft grass in the doe’s hutch twenty-five days after mating. A doe will nurse her litter for six to eight weeks. As her milk supply decreases, the growing bunnies will teach themselves to eat the feed in the trough and manger. As soon as they are eating completely on their own, they can be moved to individual hutches and every group the in a separate cage according to their age. Care Daily food and clean drinking water are a basic need for rabbits and according to Ayebale, the rabbits can eat mash, banana, Irish and sweet potato peels as well as grass. This is one of the basic challenges he faces because he has to move around town to collect the peels which he gets from restaurants. He says, “Sometimes I feed the rabbits on grass and weeds from the garden. In the dry spell, I go to different places around Rubanda town where they peel a lot of food and I book the peels. I buy a sack of peels at Shs30,000 and a kilogramme of mash at Shs1,500.” He also makes sure that the cages are cleaned every day to protect the rabbits from developing hygiene related diseases. He also collects the dung and urine separately in containers to avoid the bad smell. He employs someone to help him with the routine cleaning and feeding whom he pays a pocket change Shs50,000 a month. He however warns that, “You should never keep rabbits and chicken together because there are diseases that catch the rabbits from chickens. Also make sure you keep one male in each cage. More than one male will cause fighting for females and territory.” The gold in wastes Ayebale also grows passion fruits, Irish potatoes and beans so he uses the rabbit urine as a pesticide. He is able to collect five 20-litre jerry cans of urine and since he cannot use all of it at once, he sells some. “I use urine to fertilise my crops. I use the dung as a fertiliser and also spray the urine on the beans and Irish potatoes whenever I sense any pests attacking them. I am also making good money from selling the urine because other people need it as a pesticide,” he says. Source: https://www.monitor.co.ug/Magazines/Farming/Rabbits-bring-quick-money-/689860-4290076-12opmw0/index.html
Mordern Milking Methods
Uganda, Switzerland Milk Cultures Captured in International Exhibition One clear distinction between the milking knowledge and traditions of Uganda and Switzerland at the seven-month long international exhibition at the Uganda National Museum (UNM) in Kampala is that the milking process in the former is still traditional while it has been fully mechanized in the latter. The traditional milking of indigenous cows in Uganda is usually done in the morning and evening. The process of milking takes place within the kraal. At most times, the hind legs of the cow to be milked are tied and a calf is allowed to suckle the mother to stimulate the cow’s udder. Thereafter, milking (kekégh in Pokot, akilepi in Karamojong and okukama in Runyankole) commences. To collect the milk from the cow, wooden milk jars, plastic or metallic containers are used in Uganda. The milk is then transferred into a bigger bowel or a pan for storage and boiled to keep it safe. In Switzerland the cows were traditionally milked using hands. Milking tools like stools and buckets were mostly wooden. The milking process today is, however, mostly done by machines, some of them semi-automatic or fully automatic including portable milking machines. In Uganda and Switzerland, milk collected from farms is transported to the Milk Collection Centres (MCC) on the same day for quality checks and cooling. Titled “Drink Deeply! Milk” – an exhibition about Uganda and Switzerland’s milk cultures has run from September 2017 – March 2018 and aims at presenting the different knowledge of milk; its cultural and social aspects. Early evidence suggests that agricultural farming began with domestication of animals by around 9,000BC in areas of Mesopotamia (Southern Iraq), Syria, Lebanon. Since the domestication of mammalian animals, humans began to use the milk as food. The exhibition offers insights on the history of cow milk, traditions and milk products, and indigenous knowledge systems of both countries. It shows the hidden treasures of milk and how it connects the diverse cultures of the world. Visitors can see how their everyday food in the kitchen and how it is contextualized in a trans-local exhibition. On display are the milking practices, skills, tools and equipment, storage facilities, preservation processes, the use of milk dairies, and the production and packaging of milk products. The exhibition also highlights the diversity of milk, good farming practices and global perspectives. The exhibition is not all about history and tradition but also the contemporary status of milk, the industrial changes, gender roles, the environment and the political economy Uganda and Switzerland. The exhibition that includes video installations attempts to answer the following questions: Why milk? What do we know about milk in Uganda and Switzerland? What cultural aspects are involved? What are the changes in the modern methods of milking? Milk is essentially an important consumable good and it contributes to the sustenance of the population. Cow milk contains numerous nutrients such as calcium and magnesium among others. Cow milk products include yoghurt, butter, curd, cheese, oils and fats. In parts of western Uganda there is clarified butter called ghee (amagita g’ente in Rutooro) and a ghee sauce known as eshabwe (in Runyankole). Milk is used to make chocolate, bread, cakes, biscuits, sweets and ice cream, among others. Mixing of fresh blood with the milk is one of the cultural practices amongst the pastoralists in Uganda especially in the Eastern region. Once milk is poured into a big container, two people hold the head of the young cow, and a vein on a cow’s neck is then pierced with a sharp arrow fired from a bow to allow blood-letting (ikecheri in Pokot andecharakani in Karamojong). The fresh blood is then well prepared to remove all clotting particles. The blood is poured into a bowel of milk and stirred together. After stirring, a uniform blood and milk mixture is formed and is then ready for drinking, cooking or consumed at later time. Milk Processing and Preservation There are different ways of processing and preserving milk safe for consumption. Traditionally, milk in Uganda is processed and preserved in milk pots and gourds. The milk gourds and pots are cherished milk containers among the Banyankole, Batuku, Pokot and Karamojong. Each region has special herbs used for treating the milk pots so milk can be kept for a long period of time. Churning of milk is the process of shaking the whole milk to separate the liquid milk from the cream so as to make butter or ghee. The difference between ghee and butter is that, ghee has unprocessed fat, while butter has processed fat which requires immediate refrigeration. Among the Banyankole, Pokot, Batuku and Karamojong in Uganda, churning is done using gourds. After, milking, some milk is kept in the milk pot or guard, until the late afternoon hours. Thereafter, drops of yeast are added into the milk and kept until the next day. Towards the next morning when the milk has turned into bongo or sour milk, it is then churned. During churning, a gourd is shaken in a rhythmic manner that leads to separation of watery milk from the cream or fat substance. After a while, grass (used as filter) is put on the mouth of the gourd and the watery milk is poured into another smaller gourd while the ghee remains in the churning gourd. The solidified cream milk is then poured into another container ready for making sauce. Traditionally, the most common milk processing product in Switzerland is cheese. Fresh organic milk is collected and poured into a cheese saucepan (copper-plated) for heating to produce cheese after four or five weeks. There are different modern preservation practices and these include pasteurization, sterilization which is also known as ultra-heat-treating (UHT), and dry milk (powdered milk). “What I have seen during my visits to Switzerland is that the Swiss really care and look after their cattle very well. And they are majorly interested in quality milk production,” the co-coordinator of the Museums Cooperation Project in Uganda, Amon Mugume told Daily Monitor. “Almost 90 per cent of the Swiss farms I visited have gone into organic farming. This means that you don’t treat your cows with antibiotics and pesticides because when are detected in your milk the price goes down and you will register low sales,” Mugume added. “The message I have for Ugandan cattle farmers is to go organic. During the rainy seasons we have a lot of grass in Uganda so we should cut it and keep it as hay for the dry seasons. This will enable us have production of milk throughout the year because the cows will have food throughout the year and our cattle will not look bony and skinny during the dry season because of lack of grass,” Mugume said. The Legends There are also some legends on milk in both countries at this exhibition. For example, an Ankole legend is told that, a full grown cow is helped along by him who first milked it and this is called Okubuturwa. It is that very man who would see its capabilities and how much milk it gives; others would not be interested in it. In the same way a man helps one he has known, but others that he gets to know later. Another Runyankole legend goes: Ente inywebwa abagyenyi abana bakuzibwa obunaku “Cattle are drunk by visitors: children grow up by time” (This refers to visitors coming and drinking the milk which children would have had and so have to wait. The children will grow in time anyway and will always be there, but the visitors will go on tomorrow). The Alpine legends tell stories about gods populating the mountain areas. The tales are about the wise women, wild men, dwarfs, spirits, dragons or giants. Some were said to be cruel and indecisive whereas others were helpful in guarding moral behaviours among humans. It is told that they produced magic cheese from the milk of animals that never run out of supply. According to the Swiss Grison legend, there were little people like dwarfs, called Wildmanndi or Ermanndli that lived in the mountains, under trees or between rocks, who taught humans how to produce cheese. UNM, the Igongo Cultural Institute (ICI) in Uganda, and the Ethnographic Museum of the University of Zurich (EMZ) formed a partnership of museums cooperation in 2015. The Museums Cooperation Project is part of a long term museum’s field research and education programme between the three institutions on traditional and contemporary milk practices in Uganda and Switzerland for public consumption. “The main purpose of this exhibition is to share knowledge about the milk cultures of Uganda and Switzerland. But more importantly is for the Uganda National Museum, the Ethnographic Museum of the University of Zurich and the Igongo Museum to share professional experiences on how museums can be relevant to the public,” the exhibition’s curator, Nelson Adebo Abiti told Daily Monitor. From April 2018, the exhibition will move from UNM and go mobile and travel across Uganda because UNM is usually only accessible for those who come to or live in Kampala. “We are going to do what is called a mobile exhibition and this is mainly to go to the communities in the villages especially those far-off places with people that can’t manage to reach the National Museum in Kampala. We are still drawing the plan for the mobile exhibition,” Abiti, who is also an ethnographer at UNM, said. A similar exhibition has been installed permanently at the Igongo Museum in Mbarara district in western Uganda under the title “The Power of Milk.” Beyond The Milk The exhibition also captures the issues beyond the milk like the environment, the collection and use of cow dung, the dangers of packing milk products in plastic bags to the environment, and climate change. “It is not only the natural waste that is connected to milk: milk, cheese and other dairies are sold in plastic packaging, and thrown away after consumption – often not in the litter,” the exhibition organisers say. They are therefore suggesting that a good way of reducing this problem is to consume only glass bottles of milk or other reusable materials. The consequences of climate change matter to cattle keeping as well as to human everyday life. Extreme drought reduces pastures for cows and drying of water sources. In drought season, cows produce less milk thus reduced supply. Climate change is affecting forage and intake of food for the cattle. The exhibition organisers acknowledge that traditionally, herding and milking was done by men in the family, while the women took care of the milk processing and consumption within the house around the world. “The commercialization of milk has changed these traditional roles in most regions. Currently both, men and women, work in the milk industry and can prepare dishes with milk for their own consumption,” they add. The organisers also acknowledge that the dumping of European subsidised produce in African countries is forcing local producers out of business. They cannot compete with the industrial milk producers and government grants from the EU for agriculture. Source:https://www.monitor.co.ug/Magazines/Farming/Uganda-Switzerland-milk-cultures-international-exhibition/689860-4315918-jlvlw6/index.html
Production of Vegetable Protein in Changing Climate
Global warming and climate changes and their ejects on human life, and agriculture, is one of substantial challenges faced by Humans. The temperature of air when increased results in escalated evaporation and the evolution of new areas of drought, decreased plant vegetation time, effortless existence of pathogens and pests and, this results in decreased production of many crops even to 5 to 10 percent. Considering the global warming and negative phenomena of weather, we can expect more and more difficulty in crop yield conditions due to inadequate water retention, non-cost-effective technologies of agriculture and irrigation, increased production costs. Production of plant protein in Europe is quite hard, so the United Emirates, also Poland is mostly dependent on soybean protein coming from GMO cultivars, mainly from South America. What is the most important issue to meet the demands of the above mentioned changes in the production of vegetable protein? To answer question, click here to continue reading
Soy Bean Market Woes
SOY BEAN MARKET. Hundreds of farmers in Acholi sub-region have preferred to hoard tonnes of soybeans in their stores rather than sell due to the low prices on the market. This has also been further influenced by what some of the farmers refer to as exploitation by middlemen who buy from them cheaply and later sell to big factories at high prices. Simon Obwoya, a soybean farmer in Lalogi Sub-county Omoro District said the low prices have forced him to hoard his soya bean. Obwoya said although he sold part of the soybeans he harvested cheaply during the festive season, he does not want to make the same mistake this year. He harvested 21 bags of soya beans last season and has only sold two bags. Optimistic Obwoya is optimistic that in the coming months ahead, the price of soya beans will increase giving him enough profits. “We are facing challenges of low prices, many people have produced soya beans in the district [Omoro District] making the product very cheap on the market,” Obwoya explains in an interview on Tuesday. He noted that due to family demands during the festive season, he sold his soya bean cheaply at Shs1,000 a kilogramme. On average soya beans fetches between Shs1,300 to Shs1,500 a kilogramme. Market woes Obwoya says they are also being exploited by middlemen who are taking advantage of the local farmers in Omoro District. “Last year many people planted soya beans, the climate favoured the crop and many got good harvests. But many middlemen are now roaming within the community buying cheaply from farmers yet in return they get good commissions’ after selling to some of the oil seed companies,” says Obwoya. He reveals middlemen are buying soybeans at only Shs1,000 from desperate farmers who need quick cash. Obwoya suggested that the district officials should ban middlemen from buying directly from the farmers and instead connect the major companies dealing in soya beans and soya bean products to approach the farmers on the ground. “Our farming efforts will be useless if these middlemen are the ones directly buying from farmers, they always want to get high commissions per every kilogramme of soybeans they buy while the farmers are left on the losing end. The district officials should regulate them [middlemen],” he said. Quinto Okello, another farmer in Omoro District who is facing similar challenges says due to low prices of soya, Okello has been forced to store 45 tonnes of soybeans at his stores in Gem Parish, Lalogi sub-county. He says unlike in January last year when prices for soya beans were fairly high, the drop this season is worrying. “Last season, we were selling to factories in Lira district at Shs1,350, per kilogramme but now it’ is low at Shs1,100,” Okello says. The biggest buyers of soya beans within the region are Mt Meru Millers in Lira district and Mukwano Group of Companies who buy a kilogramme of soya beans at Shs1,100 according to Okello. He noted that at the local market many people have also rejected to buy soya beans at Shs1,200 saying it is expensive. Okello however is optimistic that by March, the prices of soybeans will shoot up to between Shs1,400 and Shs1,500 per kilogramme. storage Patrick Omony, an agricultural extension facilitator at International Institute of Rural Reconstruction [IIRR] in Lalogi sub-county says they have been training farmers on best practices of storing their products and selling at the right time. Omoro District Chairperson Douglas Peter Okello has advised farmers to embrace value addition if they are to earn profits from soybeans. Hundreds of farmers are stuck with soybeans following bumper harvests last season. Okello has been instrumental in advising farmers on value chain addition saying the seeds produce good vegetable oil. “We have encouraged farmers to add value to their soybeans because it is one of the most nutritious foods fetching high prices in the market. Soya beans can be mixed with millet flour and also cooking oil can be extracted from it,” says Okello. He cited that if value is added to soya beans, the cost per kilogramme can triple giving a farmer high profits. Okello also noted that through their engagements with local farmers they have been able to link some of the farmers to buyers and factories both within and outside northern Uganda. He advises farmers not to rush into selling off their products rather form groups so as to tap a bigger market. Best varieties The common varieties of soybeans on high demand currently are MAKSOY3N and MAKSOY 4N. According to Okello, the two varieties take 90 to 108 days in the garden to mature and be harvested unlike other varieties. He says they are also resistant to drought and pests adding that they have quality seeds. Soybean oil Soybean oil is extracted from soybeans and is a good source of healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats. BARE FACTS Soy milk. Soy milk is a plant-based drink produced by soaking and grinding soybeans, boiling the mixture, and filtering out remaining particulates. It is a stable emulsion of oil, water, and protein. Alternative. If you are allergic to dairy, lactose intolerant or you just are not crazy about the taste of dairy milk, reach for soy milk. Source of article: https://www.monitor.co.ug/Magazines/Farming/Soybean-market-Tough-choice-for-farmers/689860-4253090-13n2s1iz/index.html
Farm Menace: Ticks
Ticks, if not managed effectively, indeed can be a menace on your farm. Ticks are tiny bugs, about the size of a sesame seed, which feed on blood. Different ticks prefer feeding from different types of animals. Sometimes, a tick will bite a person instead of biting an animal. Ticks can carry diseases such as Lyme’s disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Tick-Borne Relapsing fever (TBRF) and many others. While most tick bites do not result in disease, some do. Farms make an excellent breeding place for ticks. This is because there are many animals: from cattle to dogs and humans to sheep, making plenty of supply of blood for ticks to feed on. It is important therefore to avoid ticks on your farm. Read about ticks, their control an management methods by Denis Bbosa.