3 Teso Traditional Schools & Women Leaders receive Heifers and Kuroiler Chicks

3 Teso Traditional Schools & Women Leaders receive Heifers and Kuroiler Chicks

The Vice President Maj. (Rtd) Jessica Alupo has handed over 12 in-calf Friesian heifers to three secondary schools in the Teso sub-region to boost the agricultural department with practical inputs as schools implement the new curriculum. The schools that received each four heifers include Teso College Aloet-TCA, Ngora High School, and St. Mary’s Girls SS, Madera following a request they submitted to the Vice President.

Three additional in-calf Friesian heifers were given to the family of the former parish priest of Kachumbala catholic parish in Bukedea District, the late Rev. Fr. Alex Ben Odeke.  Handing over the heifers to the beneficiaries at Teso College Aloet-TCA, Alupo congratulated the schools for promoting the principles of Universal Primary Education and Universal Secondary Education including access to education, relevance to education, and quality of education.

The Vice President also handed over 10,000 one month’s Kuroiler chicks to women leaders in Katakwi. Each beneficiary received 10 chicks aimed at improving the people’s livelihoods in the district. She said the Kuroilers which are easy to keep multiply within three to four weeks to come and therefore will be a quick way of improving the livelihoods of the people. “These Kuroilers are easy to keep just like our local chicken, only that they need a lot of water to drink. Don’t waste time buying feeds. We brought them following the success of the 5,000 Kuroiler chicks which were recently given to women of the clergy,” Alupo said. She assured the beneficiaries that this project is to complement other government programs so that people will come out of poverty as soon as possible.

Both the in-calf Friesian heifers and Kuroiler chicks were provided by the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) under the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF).

Speaking on behalf of MAAIF, the State Minister for Animal Industry Hon. Bright Rwamirama said that the support from the government is aimed at transforming the livelihoods through agriculture since it employs more than 80 percent of the population directly and indirectly. He encouraged the beneficiaries to diversify and also engage in other enterprises like piggery, fish farming, and dairy animals as well as food. The beneficiaries of Chicks were grateful to the Government and the vice president for the support that they said will enable them to improve their families.

Julius Opasso, the head teacher TCA commended the Government for providing a sustainable source of milk to the students and teaching them valuable skills in animal husbandry.

Eliphanz Ewalu Opolot, the head teacher Ngora High School was grateful for the fulfilment of the pledge saying they are already set to keep the animals.

Key players in the development of the Hass avocado value chain in Uganda met in Kampala to deliberate on how to strengthen the infant sector with an emphasis on increasing production, regulation, standards, and access to the market for the high-value crop. The meeting which was organised by the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS), the lead Government agency in promoting the Hass avocado value chain took place at Piato Restaurant on Wednesday 13th February 2024.

Speaking during the meeting, the Executive Director NAADS Dr. Samuel Mugasi said Hass avocado has gained great momentum in the past few years with several Ugandans joining the out-grower network of hass avocado farmers across the country. He added that, although the industry is still in its infant stages, investors both domestic and foreign have already picked interest and established factories for extraction of avocado oil.

“We already have five fully established factories that extract oil from avocado in different parts of the country. The onus is now on us to mobilize more farmers to plant hass avocado to feed the factories with raw materials and also meet the increasing demand for the fresh fruit in the export market”, said Dr. Mugasi.

Dr. Mugasi said although coffee remains as Uganda’s number one export commodity, there is need for farmers to diversify and also tap into the emerging high-value crops like hass avocado whose global market is currently valued at over $8 billion, and is projected to reach more than $ 20 billion in 2026. He urged Ugandans to plant more hass avocado whose demanding is increasing both domestically and internationally.

“Most of the established factories are struggling and operating below capacity because there is little avocado for them to process. They are now competing for fresh fruits with our neighboring countries especially Kenya who are also interested in avocado”, explained Dr. Mugasi.

Hasan Kalilani, the CEO of Avolio Industries Uganda Ltd, one of the avocado processors said with low production of hass avocado in Uganda, factories have resorted to processing the local avocado varieties so that they remain in business. ”We prefer to process the hass avocado variety to the local varieties because hass has more oil content and produces very good quality oil which is demanded by our buyers in Europe. However, we have now resorted to processing local varieties with less oil content as we wait for the production of hass avocado to increase”, exclaimed Kalilani.

Hasan Kalilani said currently, the existing five factories process 63,000 tonnes of fresh avocado every year which translates into 2.5 million kilograms of crude avocado oil which brings in approximately $11.5 million in foreign exchange every year.

“The value of hass avocado is much more than that of local varieties. If production of hass can increase, this commodity will fetch Uganda more export earnings from both the fresh fruits and avocado oil”, explained Kalilani

Kalilani also implored the Government to put in place regulations and standards for the hass avocado sub-sector saying absence of these regulations is already affecting the value chain in its infancy. He said without regulations, buyers from neighbouring countries enter Uganda freely and take the fruits denying the local processors the raw materials.

Joy Mukaire, a small holder hass avocado in Busoga region asked government to train extension workers saying the existing experts in hass avocado farming are charging farmers exorbitant fees.

“This crop is still new to most farmers and government extension officers. Most of us made losses in the beginning because we lacked guidance on how to manage hass avocado orchards. The private extension workers area charging us a lot of money which makes the cost of production very high”, exclaimed Mukaire.

The meeting was attended by officials from MAAIF, URA, UNBS, UEPB, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, East African Business Council, International Trade Center Juliet Musoke, national coordinator Markup projector under ITC and EU, 40 MILLION euros Coffee, cocoa and hass and for the 6 countries in EAC.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

× Get in touch!

Enter your keyword