THE UGANDA GOVERNMENT has released the Report of National Livestock Census of 2008. Addressing journalists at the Media Centre in June, the minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Hope Mwesigye, said that the objective of the census was aimed to generate data on all livestock and their characteristics.
It intended to inform government, local authorities and other stakeholders and be a benchmark to increase production and identify markets in the region. The census which was financed by the African Development Bank (ADB) was carried out in 80 districts of Uganda by the ministry of Agriculture and Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS).
The minister said data was collected from 964,047 households, representing 15.1 per cent of the total number of the households in Uganda as of the year 2008. Compared to other livestock censuses which considered sample sizes of one per cent the total number of households, the 2008 census stood out as the most comprehensive.
The number of cattle totalled 11,408,750. The increase was attributed to the increased zeal in cattle rearing due to emerging markets in the region and return of relative peace and stability in northern Uganda alongside government effort towards increasing cattle population. Previous estimates of the total number of cattle in the country based on the results of the Agriculture Module of the Uganda National Household Survey (UNHS) 2005/06 showed that the national herd stood at 7.5mn.
The number of goats was 12,449,670. The increase was also attributed to emerging markets in the region. Compared to previous censuses , there was an increase in the total goat herd in the country. The 2002 Population and Housing Census estimated the total goat herd in Uganda to be 5.2mn.
The number of pigs was found to be 3.2mn. The national chicken flock for Uganda was declared to be 37.4mn. The number of ducks were 1.5mn while turkeys totalled 348,330. The minister said, “The foot and mouth disease was the most challenge in the past five years, which emanated from neighbouring countries. The government has planned perimeter vaccinations.” The government spent Ush4 billion to counteract the diseases in 23 districts in 2005/06.