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Greater North MPs Want Delayed Cattle Policy Explained

The Pastoralism Policy, according to the group, was proposed during the Africa region level meeting in 2010. Members note that since then the draft has remained in the custody of the Agriculture ministry and not distributed to stakeholders for debate.
MP Eriaku stresses the urgency of the Pastoralism Policy
Members of Parliament (MPs) under their umbrella body of Greater North Parliamentary Forum have resolved to prevail on the Minister of Agriculture Tress Bucyanayandi to explain to them the stalled Pastoralism Policy.

The proposed policy is supposed to help pastoralists add value to their cattle products.

 

The MPs argue that the lack of a policy has cost pastoralist communities a lot especially during the sale of their cows and cow products, thereby exposing the keepers to exploitation.

 

The MPs had a meeting with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Kampala on Tuesday.

 

The forum Secretary General and MP for Kapelebyong County Dr. Peter Eriaku complained that the non-existence of that policy which also enhances planning and budgeting has led to the neglect of pastoralist communities.

 

 According to Eriaku, it is also one reason despite cows being a resource in terms of wealth, cattle keepers and more so Karamojong continue to struggle with poverty.

 

Pallisa district MP Judith Mary Amoit, a member of the forum, urges government to expedite the process of adopting the Pastoralism Policy to enable communities benefit from cattle keeping.  

 

He argues that their counterparts in the western region that have benefited from milk products since they have means to process the milk for local and international markets.

 

Despite being an economic livelihood for many Ugandans, MPs argue that communities that herd cattle including Karamoja, Teso, Acholi and Lango among others have not benefited from their pastoralism livelihood.

 

This means they cannot afford the ever increasing costs of basic needs like education, food, water and shelter among others.

 

The legislators under the forum which brings together MPs from the districts of Teso, Acholi, Bugisu, Bukedi, Lango, Karamoja, West Nile and parts of argue that once in place, planning for such pastoralist communities will be easier.

 

The policy will also enhance revenue collection from the milk and beef products to supplement taxes from cigarettes and beer.

 

The Pastoralism Policy, according to the group, was proposed during the Africa region level meeting in 2010. Members note that since then the draft has remained in the custody of the Agriculture ministry and not distributed to stakeholders for debate.  

 

The legislators now want the process adopting the policy expedited.

 

Some MPs accused the government of practicing deliberate exploitation of traditional pastoralists by delaying the policy yet “modern pastoralists” continue to benefit from cattle keeping.

 

Obongi County MP Kaps Hassan Fungaroo also cautioned the forum to guard against campaigns for Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) which he suspects to be partly the reason government has delayed the policy.

 

 

Upe county MP Micah Lolem Akasile said though herders continue to be primarily responsible for the security of their animals, a lot of cattle had been saved from rustling since the launch of disarmament in 2006.

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