Poultry farmers in Mbarara City North have received thousands of Kurioler chicks from their legislator Robert Mwesigwa Rukaari in a bid to raise income and boost urban agriculture as a way to improve livelihoods of city residents.
The appropriate agricultural boost ,donated by National Animal Genetic Resource and Information Center (NAGRIC) has come at a time when the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic are still felt by most households in many ways, including job loss, loss of remittances, higher prices, rationing of food and other basic goods, and disruptions to health care services and education.
While handing over the chicks to beneficiaries to farmers in Mbarara City North, Hon. Rukaari who thanked NAGRIC for empowering farmers said it is his role as patriot to support government interventions and programs that will transform communities to a middle income state, the reason he is empowering farmers.
“This is Government’s initiative and President Museveni’s intervention to help Ugandans get income in their homes. I want to encourage those who are already in Poultry keeping to share knowledge with the starters’’, said Rukaari as he handed over chicks to various individuals and groups who are already in Poultry keeping in his constituency which will help in boosting their incomes.
The Kuroiler chicken is a hybrid chicken breed which is a good dual purpose value for both meat and eggs production. It grows faster and lays more eggs than the local chicken.
Rukaari asked the various farmers’ groups to continue embracing government programs and assured residents that his office will supervise and support these projects because of their good record in service delivery.
He further revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic severely affected numerous economic sectors across the country, including livestock production.
Rukaari however noted that these birds provide an important component of food security and contribute to the country’s economic development more generally, the reason he is empowering farmers in his constituency.
Like in many countries, the closure of schools, restaurants, shops and markets, limitations on public gatherings and travel since 2020 due to the pandemic reduced demand for animal and poultry products.
It should be remembered that infections among workers and subsequent closure of slaughterhouses and food processing plants and markets reduced slaughtering and processing throughout the country.
These factors resulted in the overstocking or culling of birds and poultry products, with farmers depopulating their farms to reduce the costs of maintaining bird populations which they could neither feed nor trade. Inevitably, this affected poultry production and trade until the lockdowns were totally lifted.
‘’ Uganda and other countries in the region opened up the economy and the resumption of various sectors has created more opportunities. Consumption of poultry meat and eggs has increased rapidly in past months. Growing demand has mostly been driven by opening up of all sectors locally and in the region, urbanization and rising incomes in East Africa which is an opportunity to our famers who can even export poultry products’’, revealed Rukari.
Local leaders thanked Rukaarii for the empowerment projects which they say would not only improve poultry farming in the area but generally household income.