The livestock sector is responsible for the promotion of sustainable animal production and disease control in the district. The district has abundant feed resources, including agro-processing by-products for animal production. This therefore explains why there has been a steady increase in the livestock population over the last 10 years. Quite a number of players have contributed to this development including the farmers, NGOs and humanitarian agencies ( CPAR, CPA, IRC, Plan Uganda, UWESO UK Trust, CARE,VECO,Send A Cow, Heifer Project International, FAO ) and Government interventions through projects ( NUSAF, National Livestock Productivity Improvement Project and NAADS ). The family members participate in the management of the animals at household levels. Although improved technologies have been advocated for, limited sustained adoption has been registered. The indigenous breeds of animals have remained as the predominant animals kept under traditional management practices. The contribution of animals towards the livelihoods of the families has remained remarkable. House holds with animals are more secure economically, socially and nutrition wise. This is the reason why most projects generated by communities aimed at improving their social wellbeing are livestock projects.
Source: Lira District Census. The decline in the population of livestock is due to LRA&the creation of new Districts, 2009 UBOS livestock census results, 2008
The livestock sector has not had a smooth run though. Rebel incursion and Karamojong infiltration into the district negatively affected livestock production whenever they occurred approximately 7 years ago..
Incidences of pests like ticks, tsetse flies/other biting flies and livestock diseases (Tick borne diseases, trypanosomiasis and endoparasitosis) have remained high. Epidemics (FMD, NCD, Fowl Pox ) were reported in 2009 and remained under threat of experiencing African Swine Fever, CBPP PPR, Lumpy Skin Disease outbreaks. Diagnoses of all these conditions have always depended on clinical findings because of the poor laboratory services and staffing position in the district. Despite the high prevalence of Livestock pests and diseases, there are always insufficient funds and logistics to be used in their control. and the situation is even made worse by the lack of a functional disease control facility.
Increasing human population has reduced the available grazing land. Climatic change is affecting water and pasture availability.
Because of the contribution of livestock to increased crop production (especially when oxen are used), improved nutrition to the people and income to the households and the high potential of using animal waste as source of energy (Biogas) and maintaining soil fertility (Manure) future programmes should continue to support the Livestock Industry by way of helping the farmers to acquire animals and giving support to Livestock pests and diseases control
Energy for Production
Livestock can contribute immensely in the production of alternative source of Energy and environmental conservation. The utilization of animal waste in the production of Biogas can provide energy for family use and manure used in the fields.
OVC (Orphans and vulnerable children)
OVC’s can be target for abuse as they struggle to survive. Under Livestock, special consideration will be given to this group that are organised for support under piggery, poultry, dairy production
It’s clear that if not properly managed, livestock can be very destructive to the environment. Overstocking of ruminants and leaving pigs to roam freely are some of the improper management practices that can lead to environmental destruction. Efforts will be made (through trainings/workshops) to guide the public on sustainable utilisation of environment while engaging in livestock production. Planting of fodder trees and utilisation of animal manure will be emphasised. Use of Biogas as source of energy could help to conserve environment in addition to reducing burden on women to look for wood fuel.
Cooperation and integration
There exist a reasonable collaboration between this section and other departments and NGOs. A few examples are the combined efforts of veterinary and health in fighting zoonoses; utilization of facilities of other institutions; mobilization of community-by-community development staff. Staff of the sub-sector also assist NGOs in implementation of their programmes e.g., Send A Cow, HPI, FAO, Plan Uganda, VECO.