President Yoweri Museveni has reportedly summoned cabinet after it was revealed that a multi-billion livestock export deal with Egypt for their military consumption is on the verge of collapse after his cows at Katonga farm, near the Head of State’s ranch at Kisozi became infected.
It is said that 2,000 of the cows being fattened at Katonga farm for export under the Uganda-Egypt project on Food Security (EUFS) based at Bombo are on the verge of being rejected y President Fata Al-sis’ army after they became hugely infected by FMD which is widely spread in Tanzania. This comes after a team of Egyptian quality experts arrived in Uganda, having jetted in on the weekend, to certify the quality of the cows.
Management at EUFS says they have secured a demand of 12,000 cows per month in Egypt but Uganda must supply cows that meet certain least quality standards including each weighing a minimum of 300kgs.
Sharp Ugandans have reportedly been buying cows cheaply from Tanzania for resell to the army fattening facility that was allocated Shs12 billion in the last Financial Year.
Museveni who had initially had a lot of hope in the Egypt beef deal on learning about FMD became frightened and has since Friday reportedly been working up on the phone ringing all the best vet doctors he knows everywhere in the world begging them to come to his rescue not lose the deal.
He has since squeezed vet technocrats at Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry to urgent with a paper guiding on quick interventions that can be undertaken to avoid scaring off the Egyptians.
Uganda apparently has no anti-FMD vaccines but used to buy from Botswana.
With more than 17mn heads of cattle, Uganda has a big population of livestock, but still has an annual shortfall of 900,000 tonnes of both processed and unprocessed beef products, according to data from the Uganda Meat Producers Co-operative Union.
Beef production has been growing steadily. It was at 107,000 tonnes in 2008, went up to 191,280 tonnes in 2012 and jumped to about 225,000 tonnes in 2014-2015. But demand has been growing faster than supply, which is constrained by the current beef production system that is largely subsistence-based and primarily uses slow-maturing indigenous breeds.