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August 20, 2008

Uganda's export of raw cereal contributes to animal feed shortage

Uganda’s continued export of unprocessed cereals is partly to blame for the current shortage of animal feeds in the country. Most cereals, especially maize, are exported as unprocessed consequently there are no residual byproducts that can be used to manufacture animal feeds.

Some animal farmers now want a law to be passed to enforce value addition on all cereals so that byproducts can be used to manufacture animal feeds.

“After several meetings and consultations the Animal feed bill was drafted and tabled to the 7th Parliament, unfortunately nothing happened. We humbly beg you to take up this matter expeditiously,” the Chairman Poultry Association of Uganda (PAU) Mr Aga Sekalala.
He was speaking to Agriculture minister Onek.

If the bill is enacted, one of the pertinent issues it will address is to enforce exportation of value added maize so that the residue are used in the manufacturing of animal and birds feeds.

Currently Uganda and the feeds industry is experiencing an acute shortage of raw materials and the escalating commodity prices have forced many poultry farmers to sell their birds before maturity and others could be pushed out of business.

All the maize exported within the region is in its raw form something which has constrained the feeds industry from accessing raw materials. Other possible sources of raw materials include fish products, cotton and sunflower seed cake, bones, cassava and sweet potatoes. Kenya and Tanzania have a policy that instructs their farmers to export only value added maize thus leaving the residue for their domestic feeds industries.

“We have written to the Director General of NARO requesting his help to begin trials for yellow maize and cassava trials at both Magigye Farm and Namulonge Research Station in order to find long-term solutions on raw materials for animal and poultry feeds,” Ms Immaculate Mgulumi from PAU said.

The farmers have also asked the government to facilitate training activities for farmers in handling their business. “We are aware that government of Netherlands offers Uganda government Scholarships each year; The ministry must intervene to avail those scholarships to poultry farmers,” Mr Sekalal


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