Uganda's Poultry Industry in the Spotlight

UGANDA - The poultry industry is attracting more investment attention, despite its challenges related to the skyrocketing costs of production emanating from increased exports of maize to neighbouring countries.
calendar icon 24 March 2011
clock icon 5 minute read

Recently, President Yoweri Museveni has singled out poultry and recommended it to the National Agriculture Advisory Services as a key intervention as government promotes the Prosperity for All Programme, according to New Vision.

Government in the same line has considered entering into public private partnerships to improve the industry after realising its cardinal role as an agriculture component.

Uganda recently formed a partnership with Brentec Vaccines International a local company to manufacture a vaccine Kuku Vac to combat Newcastle disease (ND).

Newcastle disease is common in eastern Uganda, accounting for 70 per cent of deaths among chicken, with the partnership, that problem will be mitigated. Local farmers are also optimistic of the future of poultry, thus farmers like Kasolo Walusimbi decided to start manufacturing incubators through his company Butenga Chick Star.

The latest intervention in the industry is the entry of the 20-year-old BH Group which has extended market frontiers from West Africa into Uganda where it has established an office at Soliz House on Lumumba Avenue to serve as a headquarter for East African Community countries.

Associated to Bnot-Harel of Israel and Nigeria, BH specialises in planning, supplying and managing agricultural equipment, feeds, pre-mixes,vaccines and vitamins for poultry, livestock as well as farming and irrigation knowhow solutions.

In a statement last week, Ayal Mishori, the group managing director said: "Our entry into East Africa comes with opportunities to the farming community because equipment like hatcheries as well as chicks will no longer be imported by Ugandan clients we have been supplying.

"During the first few months, we have invested some $0.1 million on our infrastructure and administration structures. Our investment value until the end of the year is estimated at about $0.5 million which will be allocated to agricultural products including stocks and inventories of vitamins and vaccines, pre-mixes and related elements."

He added that farmers will be boosted with training in modern poultry technology, an intervention that will increase output for local consumption and export.

According to the 2008 National Livestock Census carried out by Uganda's Ministry of Agriculture in conjunction with Uganda Bureau of Statistics, the national chicken flock was estimated to be 37.4 million, reports New Vision. A local chicken costs 8,000 to 20,000 shillings (UGS), depending on the size and season but it also exceeds depending on the prevailing demand, local chicken is normally 20 to 25 per cent more costly than exotic breeds.

Tanzania is the leading consumer of day-old chicks while Rwanda is the largest consumer of ready-for-consumption dressed chicken.

About 25 per cent of the chicken produced n Uganda is exported and the rest is consumed locally, with households leading in consumption.

Within the coming three years, BH Group is exploring various possibilities of investments within the poultry industry, plantations and processing facilities of commodities such as coffee, cocoa, pineapple as well as seeds for the farming industry together with developing strategic alliances with local farmers.

Mr Mishori said: "Our investment strategy does not only fall within direct investments but also as part of our corporate strategy and philosophy which involves our direct participation in the success of our clients,” says Mishori. The group currently serves some 20 customers with the clear objective of serving a large number of farms and farmers which qualify within our range of products, services and solutions which we provide.

"We have been dealing with quite a significant number of the poultry breeding farms in the country like Uga Chick and Biyinzika Farmers, which became the milestone of realising the possibilities and potential which the market has to offer as well as the various requirements which the market is in need of.

BH's operations and experience in West Africa gives the company more confidence that they will seize a 50% market share within the coming three years.

"In Uganda, there is room for improvement as far as productivity and consistency levels are concerned, the poultry industry also needs modern technology and equipment improvement, as well as food supplements," concluded Mr Mishori.

During an interview, New Vision reports Walusimbi Kasolo, the managing director Butenga Chick Star, saying: "BH's entry will be of an advantage to us as local industrial players because since it has international repute in the small and large scale agro industry, we shall borrow a leaf from them for the good of Uganda."

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