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Focus of Poultry Farming in Gulu

by 5m Editor
6 October 2011, at 11:14am

UGANDA - Efforts are being made to encourage poultry production in the district of Gulu.

Poultry farming could have taken root in other parts of the country but in Gulu district, the activity is a dream yet to be realised as many farmers continue to shun the activity despite the assured ready market in the district and the surrounding areas, according to All Africa.

Pascal Nyeko, a turkey farmer in Layibi division Gulu Municipality, said the activity is not easy to manage but because it is the only source of income she depends on to feed her family of nine, she has kept to it.

She said: "It's not easy to keep these birds because their rearing comes with lots of challenges such as disease, expensive feeds and constantly keeping watch to pick laid eggs because turkeys prefer laying their eggs in the bushes."

Ms Nyeko says a farmer has to ensure an enclosed space for the birds, immediately vaccinate hatched eggs and ensure there are enough feeds for the turkeys, observing that it is only through constant and good feeding that turkeys can have higher productivity.

Gulu District Secretary for Production, Christine Arach, attributed the depreciation of poultry farming in the district to lack of knowledge on its benefits, poultry disease control, hygiene and alternative feeding for the birds. She said though poultry rearing is a good intervention, its production is still low and very few farmers show interest in engaging in it. She believes that the intervention would fetch a lot of income for farmers.

Ms Arach said: "To attain quick and stable recovery, farmers need to embrace rearing different kinds of animals. This is not the case in the district as most farmers prefer crop and animal rearing to poultry farming."

She continued that at the start of the resettling process in 2006, farming in the district started picking up with poultry farming being one of the major activities but as years have gone by, its production has continued to depreciate, noting that more sensitisation is needed to revive it.

She added: "Poultry farming is slowly fading out of the district and even 80 per cent of the poultry products that are consumed from the district are got from outside the district yet we can have farmers in the district engage in poultry keeping."

The All Africa report adds that she advised that for easy maintenance farmers should watch out for poultry diseases, observe hygiene and a warm environment especially for the chicks to avoid deaths that cause low production, thus low income, which in the end discourages them. Gulu district agriculture statistics indicate that poultry farming constitutes less than 10 per cent of the farming activity in the district compared to crop and animal farming that is widely practised.