Government to carryout National Livestock Census
The Minister of State Animal Industry Lt. Col. Bright Rwamirama has revealed that government will carryout National Livestock Census this year through the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries.
Hon. Rwamirama announced the upcoming Uganda National Livestock Census at the media centre.
“As you are aware, livestock plays a fundamental role in Uganda’s economy and the livelihoods of livestock farmers. Therefore, the importance of this exercise cannot be over emphasised as such, it has been accorded one of the highest priorities in the Agro-industrialisation program under NDPIII led by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries,” Rwamirama said.
The last Livestock census was conducted in 2008 and revealed that about 4.5 million households (70.8%) rear at least one kind of livestock or poultry in Uganda. Results put the number of cattle at 11.4million, Goats at 12.5million, Sheep at 3.4million, pigs at 1.3million. The national chicken flock was estimated at 37.4million with 1.97millions eggs laid per day. In addition, there were 300,000 rabbits, 150,000 donkeys, 1590 horses, 32,870 camels, 1.6million dogs and 640,000 cats. It was also established that the country had 750,000 beehives producing 2600 metric tonnes of honey per annum.
Over the past 13 years a lot of changes have taken place in the Livestock Sub-sector in Uganda. We have seen increased demand for livestock and livestock products from within and outside the country and we have sometimes failed to meet these demands due to inadequate quantities and poor quality of livestock and livestock products. Failing on International Standard is something we are in a process of getting rid of.
A study conducted in the region in 2009 by IGAD revealed that of the four IGAD countries reviewed; only Uganda had undertaken a national livestock census. From this data and the twice yearly Uganda National Panel Survey (UNPS) the study was able to re-estimate the contribution of livestock to agricultural GDP. The re-estimated livestock value added in 2009 – Shs 1,069.407 billion (or about $526 million US dollars at 2009 exchange rates) was found to be nearly double the original official estimate of 573 billion UShs (roughly $282 million US dollars), an increase of 86.6% over official estimates for that year.
This in itself demonstrates the importance of accurate data in estimating the contribution of a sector to a country’s economy and how to plan and invest in that sector The objective of the National Livestock Census is to establish Livestock and poultry numbers at national and district levels for planning purposes.
Specific objectives are to:
1. To obtain data on basic characteristics of livestock such as age, sex, breed, use and livestock system.
2. To obtain information on farm infrastructure, equipment and implements.
3. To establish ownership and tenure regime for land used for livestock rearing.
4. To establish labour, use of households that engage in livestock rearing.
This information is very vital if the government is to plan for development of the Livestock Sector. The sectors development is fundamental to support the transformation of the country in a sustainable way economically, socially, environmentally and from a public health perspective. A robust analysis of livestock production systems and value chains, an understanding of trends in consumption of animal source foods, and an assessment of returns to different investments are essential to formulate and prioritize policy actions. The exercise is being conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries(MAAIF) and Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS and shall be implemented between 17th -28th May, 2021.
In the next decades, population growth, urbanization, technological innovations and adoptions, increased movements of people and goods, not to mention climate change, will thoroughly transform Ugandan society, in ways that are often unpredictable. This information therefore will provide invaluable insights to policy makers and investors on actions to take today to make the Ugandan livestock industry responsive to the increasing demands.
“I would like to thank all the stakeholders who have tirelessly made the preparations for this exercise and call on the cooperation of all stakeholders in making this exercise a success,” The Minister concluded.