NAGRC & DB, OWC in amalgamation aimed at lifting locals’ livelihood

Aswa ranch in Pader district is the largest in East Africa according to officials. Courtesy photo

Pader – The Uganda National Animal Genetic Resource Centre and Data Bank (NAGRC $ DB)  has joined Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) in a move expected to double the wellbeing of the local community surrounding the Aswa ranch located both in Gulu and Pader districts.

Addressing journalists at Aswa Ranch, Col. Francis Achoka Ongom who heads the Operation Wealth Creation in Acholi sub-region, says wealth and development must prevail in the sub-region.

“It is a government program and we have engaged NAGRC to begin supplying improved bulls, broilers, chicks among others under our structures of OWC for people to benefit as they are resistance to diseases compared to Freisan cows which is expensive and very difficult to manage,” Achoka said.

Achoka – urged the locals to embrace and adapt to the new development where beneficiaries will get Aisha, Brahman and Ramanola types of brides for free.

Achoka also directed leaders to fully sensitize the community surrounding the Aswa Ranch to stop what he termed as “rampant bush burning” during dry season.

According to Achoka, the dry meta found in drier pasture is more important to animals than wet meta which he says is similar to water that can easily be found in dams.

Meanwhile Dr. Charles Lagu, the executive director NAGRC says his team is working tirelessly to ensure that the ranches in Uganda retain their former glory of early years.

“We are majorly dealing in dairy and beef cattle just to boost both the milk and meat production in the country,” Lagu said.

He noted that by year 2019, the ranches will have introduced piggery, goats, and chickens among others and will use Operation Wealth Creation structures to give them for free to the local community.

Mr Lagu, however noted challenges of bush burning and lack of offices in the ranches.

“As soon as the 2019 plan of constructing offices and training facilities is done, we will engage youth and train them on production to boost their livelihoods,” he added.

He tells government of Uganda to help them fight unproductive activities in the ranches like charcoal burning, encroachment and to improve on infrastructures in ranches across the country.

According to Lagu, the Aswa ranch located in Pader and Gulu districts with 130 square miles land is keeping over 1,850 improved breeds of cows like Jazze and Ankole and is expected to produce more by 2019.

Ngole Isaac Lameck, the Aswa ranch’s Animal Husbandry Officer says the ranch is getting semen from countries like Italy, Denmark and others to boost on quality breeding.

Aswa ranch is among the 11 ranches in Uganda and the largest ranch in East Africa.

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