Wednesday, June 7, 2017

VIDEO: Understanding #Museveni's state of the 'cattle' address #Uganda

The constitution requires the President of Uganda to deliver a State of the Nation Address once a year. Millions of Ugandans are disappointed after Museveni deliberately skipped addressing national issues that affect the ordinary Ugandan.  Instead he was more preoccupied with telling Ugandans how he is promoting the economic development of his own - the cattle keepers.
He proverbially told Ugandans that as the rest of the country is yelling, in his home area 'his people are laughing.  He told them about the Banyankole song; "Muyogo na Muyumbu, ei abaana bariisa ente. Muyogo and Muyumbu (part of present day Ntungamo) were so peaceful that children were brave enough to look after cattle because there was no threat."  He was referring to his favoritism in diary development for 'his people' in Ankole which has tremendously uplifted their living standards.
On wealth creation, he said; "There are one million Friesian cattle and cross-breeds in Uganda today.  If each one was producing 20 litres of milk per day, our diary production would stand at 6.5 billion litres per year, assuming 30% of the Friesian heard would be milking at any given time. Yet our total milk yield is still at 2 billion litres per annum. We are of course congratulating our selves because it rose from 200 million litres in 1986."
He went ahead to boast how he is a good manager whose skills should be emulated because; “I own a hotel which employs people.  I also export meat from my cattle to Europe where I am paid 10 dollars per kilogram of meat.  My company, Amosi Diaries is exporting milk products to the USA."
He went ahead to inform Ugandans how 'his people' had so much advanced in diary farming such that they don't need the help of defective Operation Wealth Creation but had instead earmarked them to benefit from regime cash grants disguised as UDB loans. "One, we should remember that there are richer farmers who do not benefit from OWC. These need separate support through low interest money in UDB. They need money to do bush clearing, pasture development, water excavation, accessing chemicals for crops and parasites, etc.  Part of capitalisation by UDB will do this."
On commercial development of the diary industry for his 'people', he made it clear thus; "In order to supply the industries, our agriculture must wake up and behave industrially.  We for instance are now required to supply cattle for the Abattoirs that are springing up and also supply the Chinese market where our people have got order of beef where a Kg is now US $ 11.5.  With 14 million cattle, this should not be a problem because you can easily sell off 20% per annum and it will not affect the national herd. 20% of the national herd is 2.5 million. Therefore, supplying a factory that needs 146,000 per year is not a problem. “
However, someone must concentrate on these cattle so that the factory gets its 400 cattle per day that it needs.  We have directed NEC (subsidiary of the Ministry of Defence) to do this.  Everybody must support them.  Even private fatteners of bullocks can be licensed to feed these factories and also the export market. Dr. Muranga at Nyaruziinga in Bushenyi is harvesting 53 metric tonnes of bananas.  His neighbors, the Banyankole are only harvesting 5 tonnes.  I am looking forward to throwing away my diesel water pump when cheaper solar pumps are available. I could then irrigate my pasture and crops. I have confined myself to only filling cattle dips."
He also talked about the factory for tick control drugs in Jinja.  He made no mention of the army worm that has invaded the crops of many cultivators.  He did not talk about the restocking of cattle in Teso, Lango and Acholi that were depleted by his senseless wars.  He made no mention of what happened to the Meat Factory in Soroti that was deliberately crippled by his regime.  He did not talk about hunger that is devastatingly affecting a big part of the country.  People are feeding on termites and mangoes.
Uganda is a country of about 40 million people.  The majority are engaged is agriculture which is supposed to be the backbone of the economy.  Different t communities engage in different forms of farming.  Cotton, tea, tobacco, simsim, gnuts, cassava, maize, sweet potatoes, fruits, fish and goat rearing, apiary, poultry, sheep and pigs rearing etc.  He made no mention about all these activities but zeroed on diary which engages a very small percentage of 'his cattle keepers'.  Someone will accuse me of sectarianism but I beg and pray that you tell me why he emphasized on diary farming in Ankole and the cattle corridor.
In March 2017 Museveni duped the people of Luwero by launching the primitive 'bottle irrigation.  He did the demonstration on his 24 acre farm at Kawumu village.  He hit headlines when he was pictured fetching water for irrigation on a bicycle and watering using plastic bottles.  The following week he was in Ankole handing over 40 tractors and solar powered irrigation equipment to a cluster of 300 diary farmers.  He told them that " the equipment had been procured by his NRM ruling party and was being given for free to help them grow pasture for their animals, preserve it for their animals instead of abandoning the animals to the mercy of natural factors of rain and draught."
During the same function, he recklessly said that "Uganda produces more milk than citizens can consume.  Because of this increased milk production, the country has to rely on international markets to consume the surplus milk, which drives the prices of milk."  He later on launched a Pasture Improvement Project under the Ministry of Agriculture and NARO.  He said; "I am glad that we are now moving towards scientific methods like planting pasture and irrigation."
During the elections campaigns he promised the people of Northern Uganda hand held hoes.
How does a leader of a country boast of exporting surplus milk when the country's children are dying of malnutrition and hunger?  A March 2017 report by Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) in collaboration with Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU)'s department of Research and Innovation revealed that 2.4 million of the children in Uganda who are under five years were suffering from chronic malnutrition and more than one million were under weight. The same report found that South Western Uganda had the highest rate of stunt growth. This revelation resolves the puzzle of 'westerners are well off under Museveni'.  So, who are these diary farmers that are being fast tracked to dominate the economy???????
Museveni answered this question during his speech thus; " the USA, it’s only 2% of the population that is in agriculture".  He was trying to tell Ugandans that commercial agriculture is a preserve of the chosen few who have the means to acquire large chunks of land.  In the same regard, he argued that the youth shouldn't be condemned to the countryside but should be facilitated to stay in the city so that their land in rural areas can be easily bought off.
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