Growth in the Ungandan middle class means that there is an increasing demand for meat of a superior quality to usual. Together with Nortura, Ugandan farmers and authorities Norges Vel has, with support from Norad, worked to develop the meat sector in the country through better production methods, and healthier animals.
- The goal is that Ugandan meat producers will receive increased incomes and larger influence through playing a larger part in the value chain. They are not just going to deliver raw materials, but in the long term fully processed products to the consumer. At the same time we wish to create a modern and sustainable meat industry that can supply the markets of Uganda and its neighboring countries. The project started in 2014 and has so far got good results, says José Ramos who leads Norges Vel's activities in Tanzania and Uganda.
A democratic organisation for meat producers
UMPCU (Uganda Meat Producers Cooperative Union) has developed to a democratic organisation for meat producers. The umbrella organisation for 33 local membership associations have more than 2650 members. UMPCU has established itself as a strong voice for producers and is a qualified partner for the government.
Better practices for keeping livestock
UMPCU is an active member in the beef sector for developing systems for professional businesses. They follow up the advancement and motivate the farmers to produce and deliver livestock. The farmers that are members receive incentives through deals and payments. Cooperation also means that they can afford to educate meat farmers so that they can work as role models for up and coming farmers.
New center of resources for beef
A resource center for beef was established by UMPCU. It is going to work as a collection point for animals, there some are fed and others sent to the slaughterhouse. In addition the center will be the organisations hub of advisors and membership service.
Through the UMPCU-owned company Uganda Farmers Meat Company Ltd (UFMC) they have access to the market and focus on the sustainable production of livestock for specific groups.
Farmers standard of living increases
The established systems gradually create an independent competitive and effective organisation that works to give livestock farmers more income. Men there have been some issues. Because of draught it has been hard to receive livestock at the resource center, but this is solved by finding different fodder for the trip. The biggest challenge with the project is to keep track of the payments required from farmers underdelivering compared to what they were paid.
- In spite of these challenges, the project has contributed to predictability in the delivery of animals for slaughter, and to that the livestock farmers have a better standard of living. Through working with quality, knowledge and professionalisation we have achieved increased confidence in both the members and the market. As a result of this the farmers have been getting paid more for their livestock. In 2015 they received on average 2800 Ugandand shillings (0.8 USD) per kg of cattle, whilst in 2016 this has increased to 3200 (0.9 USD) says Ramos.
In addition to the project, local partners and Nortura are working to get a slaughterhouse line connected to the resource center put in place.