7 December 2012

Uganda: Govt to Divide Agriculture Ministry

Government is in discussions to separate the ministry of agriculture, animal industry and fisheries to form two ministries - one for agriculture and another for animal husbandry.

The senior presidential advisor on animal issues, Dr. Sam Byagagaire said discussions regarding the formulation of the new ministries were on going and a resolution would be reached soon.

This was during the Uganda Veterinary Association annual symposium held at the Kampala Imperial Royale Hotel on Thursday.

Dr. Sam Okech, UVA's president, said, "Whenever money is sent to the ministry it goes to the crop sector and we don't have any money going into animal welfare."

He said that an independent animal industry would help them concentrate more on animal issues, something that would ultimately go a long way in alleviating the animal situation in the country.

"A lot of Ugandans depend on animals. Actually about 80% of farmers also rear animals to supplement their income. They are a source to food security in the country.

"But we have many issues facing the industry."

He said that animal laws were weak and as a result people can afford to violate animals' rights and get away with it, citing the example of traders who transport cattle and goats from western Uganda to Kampala on tracks, so crowded.

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