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President Yoweri Museveni and Cyril Ramaphosa

Museveni Hails Cyril Ramaphosa for Promoting Ankole Cows Globally

"I salute H.E. Ramaphosa, the President of South Africa, for using the 43 cattle I sold to him to promote the Ankole cow globally and its value is going up. H.E. Ramaphosa has auctioned one of his bulls for Shs337,501,055 equivalent to 1.65 million Rand," Museveni said
posted onMarch 9, 2023
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President Yoweri Museveni hailed his South African counterpart, Cyril Ramaphosa, for promoting the Ankole cow to global recognition.

President Museveni sold Ramaphosa 43 cows to Ramaphosa sometime back and he has been able to increase their value to a point where each cow is now worth over Shs300 million.

"I salute H.E. Ramaphosa, the President of South Africa, for using the 43 cattle I sold to him to promote the Ankole cow globally and its value is going up. H.E. Ramaphosa has auctioned one of his bulls for Shs337,501,055 equivalent to 1.65 million Rand," Museveni said Wednesday while delivering his International Women's Day speech.

"I was sure, 30 years ago when I encouraged the small and medium scale Banyankore to go for Friesians, that the value of the Ankole long-horn would go up. We even already had the report of the Americans in Texas where the Ankole cattle they took from here ─ whether legally or illegally ─ had taken the 1st and 6th 6 positions as the best beef providers in the whole World. That is why I keep thousands of them at Kisozi. However, the small and medium farmers in the cattle corridor, needed a quick answer in 1989 and even today, the other similar Ugandans need that quick answer. In any case, there was no harm in diversification."

Read the full speech below:

I am pleased to welcome you all to the Cattle Corridor to celebrate International Women’s Day 2023. I am very happy that you organized the Women’s Day in Kiruhuura District for this year. Why? It is because, it is here in Kiruhuura District, that our student group launched the anti-nomadism campaign in December 1966.

Partially, supported by Mzee Byanyima, who was the MP for this huge area, known as Ankole North East, Mwesigwa Black and myself, walked from kraal to kraal, held public meetings at Rushere, Twemyaambi, Naama and Nshwere-nkye and walked on foot from Nyakasharara to Biharwe, passing through kraals and educating people, about the dangers of nomadism and the pre-capitalist traditional economy of only working for the stomach (okukorera enda yoonka).

Between 1966 and 1971 when Amin launched his coup detat, we concentrated on de-campaigning nomadism that was based on the old inefficient science of the African societies. That nomadism was an attempt to solve the problems that faced the traditional pastoralists. These were: the shortage of pasture during the dry season; the shortage of water during the dry season; and the cattle diseases caused by vectors such as tsetse flies, ticks, snails and parasites like worms, bacteria and viruses.

However, this practice was out of date because, in other parts of the world, e.g. Europe, where they had seasonal incapacity to have grass grow on account of the snow in winter and very cold temperatures in autumn, they had long learnt the techniques of using spring and summer, to grow crops and pasture, preserve them as hay, silage or animal feeds and feed them to the livestock in winter and autumn.

These people who have only one season for growing crops and pasture were producing more agricultural products than us who had two seasons even without irrigation: Omwaaka (Ituumba) ─ August to January and Obwiijegashe (Katuumba ─ March to June). With water, the only problem was either not kulembeka (trapping the rainwater) or kulembeka with small containers if we did not have enshuro (underground water springs) in our area. In Karamoja, the water people are recommending valley dams of 20,000 cubic metres (20 million litres).

They say that this size of the dam will see the cattle out of the dry months of Karamoja for a family. Hence, the issue of water shortage is easily solvable even during the dry season. With respect to running away from the diseases, I asked the Banyankore in 1966, the following questions: “Murahuriire aba farm y’Omujuungu eya Mbarara nibafuruka?” “Have you ever heard the people of the Muzuungu farm at Mbarara migrating around ─ being nomadic?”

By the Muzuungu’s Farm, they meant the Government Stock Farm at Mbarara. However, they were partially right, because that modern farming was started by the colonial Government. Their answer was: “No. We have never heard the muzuungu being engaged in kufuruka (nomadism).” Then, my next question was: “Do you have better cattle than him?” They just laughed and wondered whether I was mocking them!! Their question to us was: “Emibazi y’obutarugaho nitugyiiha nkahi?”

“Where shall we get the constant supply of drugs that enable the white man to stay in one place without his cattle being attacked by diseases?” I, then, asked one of them, Mzee Baziine, the number of calves he had lost that year 1966. He said: “40”. I, then, challenged them to tell me how much those calves would have brought in if they had not died. We estimated Shs20,000 which was equivalent to US$2,857 at that time. That money was enough to build a new dip tank ─ Shs12,000 and buy a Volkswagen car ─ Shs8,000.

Therefore, they had the money to kugura emibazi y’obutarugaho (buying the required veterinary drugs sustainably), but that capacity was being squandered by allowing the calves to die from preventable causes. Like the “Whiteman’s farm”, they did not have to kufuruka (to engage in nomadism). Many people listened to our message and stopped nomadism, fenced the land they occupied traditionally, dug bigger wells, started spraying against the ticks, stopped bush-burning and engaged in crop farming (especially bananas), in addition to cattle rearing. The calf mortality was radically reduced and their herds multiplied.

Between 1966 and 1986, their herds multiplied and had more food security but, then, one question remained unanswered. This is the issue of the correct enterprise in terms of maximizing homestead incomes, taking into account the size of the family land. On account of a lack of education, the wanainchi would copy blindly. So and so is rich with several herds of Ankole cattle ─ let us say 1000 ─ I must be rich like him. In other words, I must be a rancher. However, to have 1000 cattle, you need 3½ square miles of land, if you are still using the free-range method (kuseetura).

Yes, with 1000 Ankole cattle, you can sell about 200 per year for beef and this gives you more than Shs200 million in today’s money. That is not bad. The problem, however, was that many people did not have 3½ sq. miles of land and could, therefore, not be ranchers with the free-range model (kuseetura). That is how, in 1989, after careful analysis, I recommended dairy farming to them.

While those with big pieces of land could keep both the Ankole long-horn and the Fresians, I strongly recommended the Fresians for the small and medium holders. The Ankole long-horn (the Sanga cow ─ enshuungye and enkome), is a superior breed because of the quality of its beef (yellow-fat) and the milk (more mwiitsi ─ cream); however, in the past, we had not marketed those qualities.

Therefore, the Ankole cow still depends on the internal market of Kampala and a bit of the regional market (Congo, South Sudan). I salute H.E. Ramaphosa, the President of South Africa, for using the 43 cattle I sold to him to promote the Ankole cow globally and its value is going up. H.E. Ramaphosa has auctioned one of his bulls for Shs337,501,055 equivalent to 1.65 million Rand. I was sure, 30 years ago when I encouraged the small and medium scale Banyankore to go for Fresians, that the value of the Ankole long-horn would go up. We even already had the report of the Americans in Texas where the Ankole cattle they took from here ─ whether legally or illegally ─ had taken the 1st and 6th 6 positions as the best beef providers in the whole World.

That is why I keep thousands of them at Kisozi. However, the small and medium farmers in the cattle corridor, needed a quick answer in 1989 and even today, other similar Ugandans need that quick answer. In any case, there was no harm in diversification. Hence, I unequivocally recommended that they to go for the Fresians. What have been the results? Big transformation. You can see from the videos on the screens the following big advances since 1989:

(i) The milk produced in Uganda has gone from 200 million litres per year to now 3.22 billion per year. Milk collection has improved tremendously with players in the market rising from about 15 in 1986, collecting only 400,000 litres annually, to currently a total of 647 fully equipped milk collecting centres (MCCs) with a total collection capacity of 2.08 million litres of milk per day operational countrywide, with a majority in the cattle corridor.

These are owned by: dairy cooperatives, private individuals, companies and processors. Uganda’s processing companies have increased from just one company (DCL) with a processing capacity of 60,000 litres per day in 1986, to currently 145 companies with a processing capacity of 2.89 million litres per day. These are employing mainly women and youth. Dairy processors range from large, medium, small scale and cottages processors, with a variety of products such as Powdered milk, Ghee, Butter, UHT milk, Casein, pasteurized liquid milk, Yoghurts, Cream, Ice cream, Fermented Milk and Cheese, whey protein, White sauce (Eshabwe), milk-based beverages e.g., Nutri-Bushera (Ades), among others.

(ii) The Dairy sector is valued at US$3.8 billion, the export portion of which brings in US$106.2.million per year. We are aiming at 20 billion litres. Why? Our population will soon be 50 million people. Each person, to remain healthy, with all his teeth in his mouth like me at 78 years, needs to drink 210 litres of milk per year. 50 million people, therefore, need 10.5 billion litres. We need another 10 billion litres for export, which would bring us US$ 637.20 million.

(iii) The Kiruhuura-Kazo area today has 284 coolers and sells 1.4 million litres of milk per day, which is Shs604 billion per annum in the two districts.

(iv) You can see the quality of the homes, with permanent houses. Grass-thatched huts are a story of the past. (v) Many of the homes have solar power and tap water from the roofs.

(vi) Many families are paying for many children in universities on self-sponsorship.

(vii) When we came from the bush, the Kiruhuura-Kazo area, gave me 800 cows that I used to start the State House Ngoma Farm and that I have been using to donate cattle to so many needy people. I am, therefore, very happy that you, the Women of Uganda, are here to witness this transformation I have been telling you about.

The whole of the cattle corridor has got this message and has embraced it. Parts of the districts involved are found in Isingiro, Kashaari, Kiruhuura, Kazo, parts of Ibaanda, Lyantonde, parts of Rakai, Ssembabule, Kyegyegwa, parts of Gomba, parts of Mubende, Kiboga, Kyenkwaanzi, Nakaseke 9 and Nakasongola.

It was after this success in 1995, that I made a country-wide tour of the whole country, telling you about: Kulembeka, jolo pii, aiga akipi, etc. and in the 1996 NRM Manifesto, we put in the 4 acres model. To remind you, the four acres would get you to put coffee in one acre, fruits in the second acre, pasture for zero grazing Friesian cattle in one acre and food crops in one acre (bananas, cassava, etc). In the backyard, those interested could put poultry, a piggery and those near water would do fish farming.

These are activities that have got a huge global market that we have long ago confirmed and have a good return per acre, per annum. With these, we cannot go wrong. New ideas are coming up: macadamia, cashew nuts, etc. We shall analyze each of them and judge as to whether we should put them in the four acres model.

The four acres model is part of what we call intensive agriculture. It is designed to benefit the country but particularly to benefit the smallholder. There are other products that the country needs, but do not fit in intensive agriculture. They come in what is called extensive agriculture ─ getting a small income per acre but doing it on a big scale. This is where maize, sugar cane, cotton, ranching, tobacco, etc., etc., come in.

While the Parish Development Model (PDM) deals with the 4 acres model, Uganda Development Bank (UDB), will handle the extensive agriculture. However, I want to accuse your people of the cattle corridor, whom, the NRM had got out of poverty but who are determined to go back to poverty, before all of you, the assembled Ugandans, at Saanga. Saanga is a good place to open the case against the people of the cattle corridor because it is only 8miles from Biharwe where the Eclipse of the sun of 1520 (obwiira-kabiri) happened, forcing the Banyoro of King Olimi 1, Rwitamahanga, to flee and abandon all the cattle they had looted from Rwanda for the Banyankore to share among themselves.

The Banyankore called those cattle Empeenda ya Munoni ─ which means a huge herd of cows (thousands and thousands), which was found at Munoni in Isingiro. I accuse the cattle corridor, people of two offences, before all the assembled Ugandans at the Saanga Public Court.

Offence number one is okuchwanyagura (fragmenting) the wealth the NRM had enabled the families to create in the last 30 years with the myopic inheritance of sharing by the physical division of the properties rather than dividing by shares (emigabo) and okusigaiganisa God by refusing to grow pasture for the cattle and only depending on what God plants.

Okusigaiganisa is like children when they are malingering ─ one telling the other to be the one to do the work, otherwise he will also not do the work. My appeal to the people of the cattle corridor is two: stop fragmenting wealth when the head of the family dies ─ share by emigabo (shares), not physical fragmentation.

Secondly, grow pasture and other foods (maize, sorghum) for the cattle. Do not just depend only on what nature prepares. Use nature to do better for your family and for Uganda. You may say: “How does all this help the women? We came here for the Women and Museveni is talking about commercial farming, etc.”

The woman is part and parcel of the family and society. When the families get out of poverty through commercial farming, manufacturing, services, ICT ─ the four sectors ─ it is easier to address all the other marginalized groups including women.

Will wealthier families pay for the girl child to study or not? Show me a daughter or son of a rich family that has dropped out of school on account of not being able to pay the school costs. Families getting out of poverty is a good base of solving other problems.

Yes, you may get greedy men who get “rich” and abandon their wives and children. The question is: “Are they really rich?” “Or are they just having some little money while previously, they had nothing?” Otherwise, if the families are rich, the courts of the State can even discipline irresponsible 12 husbands to share the wealth with their spouses. How will the courts force a poor husband to share poverty with his poor wife and children?

Families getting out of poverty is a good first step. In any case, the NRM has got specific programmes for specific segments of the population: women, youth, disabled, etc. This is always catered for under the different funds: PDM, Emyooga, Youths and Women funds previously. The massive involvement in the 4 acres model and the extensive agriculture assisted by UDB, will generate a large number of raw materials for the agro-processing factories to handle.

As an example, you have seen on the screen, that in the Kiruhuura-Kazo area, you have a total of 284 cooling tanks; and in the Kiruhuura-Kazo-Mbarara area, you have 2 big factories processing 800,000 litres of milk per day. Agriculture, therefore, stimulates industry. What is true of milk, is true of tea. There are now, 27 tea factories in the Western Region of Uganda.

Therefore, all Ugandans, stop excuses. It is possible to get out of poverty. The people in the cattle corridor had got out of poverty through the dairy industry guided by the NRM. They are now sliding back because of the residual cultural backwardness. We are also fighting that. You all can get out of poverty. 

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