The National Animal Genetics Resources Centre and Data Bank (NAGRC&DB) on Tuesday, October 17, 2023, released 100 assorted superior dairy breeding bulls to farmers who are members of dairy cooperatives identified across the country.
This is a routine program of the Centre which is conducted at all its 15 Animal Genetic Resources Centres located in different agro-ecological zones across the country.
The event happened at NAGRC&DB headquarters in Entebbe.
NAGRC&DB as per the Animal Breeding Act, 2001, has a two-fold mandate: to play a leading role in the commercialization of animal breeding activities in Uganda; and to carry out development activities that enhance animal genetic improvement and productivity.
To address this mandate, the agency hosts 15 regionally situated centre farms and ranches for production of superior breeding stock, the National Poultry Development Centre (NPDC), a five (5) Metric Ton/Hr animal feed production plant, the National Bull Stud and Semen Production Center at Entebbe and three Liquid Nitrogen Production Plants which service the entire country, eight (8) regional community breeding satellite centres that facilitate access to artificial breeding services by farmers at the grass roots and an embryo transfer services unit.
Accordingly, the agency breeds, multiplies and sells to the public, at subsidized prices, quality and affordable animal seed i.e. breeding stock of dairy and beef cattle, goats, poultry, pigs, fish fingerings semen for breed improvement programs and Embryos for pure breed multiplication.
Using its vast land holdings, NAGRC&DB also multiplies and avails pasture and fodder seed and planting materials (Chloris gayana, brachiaira spps, panicum maximum, and sugar/pakchong Napier varieties). Through the food and animal feed production program, the agency massively produces quality and affordable animal feeds on large scale (silage, hay and compounded animal feeds) which it sells to farmers at subsidized prices.
The role that livestock plays as a sure guarantor against poverty within poor and vulnerable communities in Uganda and the mass awareness campaigns that have been conducted about the same has created a huge demand for high-quality breeding stock for dairy cattle, beef cattle, goats, pigs, multi-purpose poultry and fish fingerlings. In order for successful implementation of government programs like the Parish Development Model (PDM that promote livestock farming, the supply of this breeding stock has to be assured and this is where NAGRC&DB centres are positioned to meet this growing demand.
Through its flagship program – the Community Based Breeding Outreach Program (CBBOP) for instance, NAGRC&DB has played a cardinal role in the 190% increase in milk production in the country. Pig and poultry farmers have also greatly benefitted from the multiplication programs of these genetics at the NAGRC&DB centres. These continuous animal genetic improvement efforts by the Centre are aimed at realizing a critical mass of resilient and highly productive dairy and meat animals within the livestock communities across the country.
The current batch of bulls being sold comprise of pure Jersey, Ayrshire, Friesian and Simmental breeds. The pedigree (parentage performance) of each of these bulls indicate exceptional breed traits such as above average milk production, high milk solids and other important dairy traits like ease of calving, early maturing and longevity in the herd. It is anticipated that farmers looking to have these traits namely faster growth, increased milk production and milk solids, assured fast calf growth, ease of calving and longevity in the herd and ease of management (higher efficiency of feed conversion) shall benefit greatly from these bulls.
Furthermore, these high value bulls are being availed to the farmers at a subsidized price (UGX 1,500,000) which is between 50% to 75% of their local market value.
NAGRC&DB follows the Institutional Policy on availing genetics to the public and adherers to the Public Procurement and Disposal guidelines while selecting the beneficiaries. The current beneficiaries were chosen through a competitive process using the PPDA asset disposal methods, guidelines and regulations.
Additionally, the agency uses these programs to generate Non-Tax Revenue (NTR) revenue for the consolidated fund.
We encourage the public to come to NAGRC&DB for these and other genetics when adverts are made about their availability.
It is NAGRC&DB’s mission to improve the national herd and flocks through availing such well recorded genetics with an assurance that they shall cause the desired improvement in farm production and productivity at the destination farms.