By Alfred Tumushabe
Kiruhura — President Museveni has advised dairy farmers to adopt modern farming practices in order to optimally use land and earn more money.
He told dairy farmers who gathered at Heritage Ranch owned by Mr James Yefeho, in Rwanyangwe III, Kashongi Sub-county, last Saturday that they need to start growing pasture and paddocking land as opposed to the current practice of grazing cows on pasture that grows on its own.
Mr Museveni addressed farmers together with the commissioner for Animal Health in the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Dr Anne Rose Ademuni.
The President said one square mile of land with natural pastures can only accommodate and feed 314 cows. But if the land is ploughed and planted with nutritious grass, he said the grass harvest from it can feed 6,200 cows.
“You must graze from one paddock for up to seven days and then move cows to another one to avoid worms and to allow pasture to regenerate,” Mr Museveni said.
He further explained that from one hectare, on can grow and harvest pasture that feeds eight cows while from 10 hectares, one is able to feed 80 cows.
The President added that with 80 cows, one is able to have at least 30 lactating cows at a time, each producing at least 20 litres and the farmer is able to sell 600 litres of milk per day.
“You find someone migrating from this district to another because of not knowing that they can gain a lot from 10 hectares if well used. You should learn how to do modern farming from any land you have.
You should stop dividing land when the family head dies, instead work as shareholders and share only profits from what has been produced from the land,” Mr Museveni said.
He hailed Mr Yefeho and his family for not dividing their family land after their parents passed on. They are jointly using the 200 acres for dairy farming.
Mr Yefeho said they are already doing supplementary feeding of cows during dry spell.
“What the President has said brings results; it is what we have been trying to achieve. Now with the intervention of the President, we are going to fast-track it. We haven’t planted pastures, now we are going to plant pastures so that we increase our carrying capacity,” he said.