The Ugandan government, in collaboration with Makerere University, has inaugurated an electronic livestock identification and traceability system, in a significant stride towards modernizing its livestock industry. The unveiling of this innovative system, which promises to revolutionize the nation’s agriculture sector, took place during the formal presentation of the Uganda Livestock Identification and Traceability System report to the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries.
The foundation of this system lay in a comprehensive survey that spanned two years, focusing on the aspects of animal identification and traceability. This extensive research initiative involved the sampling of 160,000 animals across three districts neighboring Uganda: Isingiro, Rakai, and Kyotera.
Throughout the survey, the target was to register between 10 to 20 farms in each sub-county, each housing 50 to 100 animals. This translated to 1,000 cattle within a sub-county and an aggregate of 4,000 cattle being ear-tagged and registered within a district.
Sampled Animals in Survey
|District||No. of Farms||No. of Animals|
Professor Anthony Mugisha, the project coordinator from Makerere University, highlighted the pivotal role of this system in tracing animals from their original farms to various waypoints, including markets, holding grounds, and ultimately, abattoirs.
Upon reaching checkpoints, designated officers can efficiently access and retrieve data from the electronic system, thanks to unique identification numbers assigned to each animal. Professor Mugisha further emphasized that the system’s electronic capabilities enable the Commissioner of Animal Health to swiftly track permits and obtain comprehensive information on all animals across the country in case of disease outbreaks.
The proposed method for this tracing system involves radio tracking, a cost-effective solution priced at UGX 12,000. Bright Rwamirama, the State Minister for Animal Industry, underlined the far-reaching benefits of this innovation, as it not only allows the tracking of livestock from farms to consumers’ plates but also enhances the overall value of the livestock industry.
Rwamirama highlighted the crucial function of this system in ensuring that livestock treated with contra-indicated drugs are not included in movement permits. Furthermore, the system’s implementation will facilitate quarantine measures, along with movement control and the prohibition of slaughtering animals within a specific zone.
This remarkable project received substantial support from both the Government of Uganda and the European Union, with an investment of UGX 1.1 Billion.