Livestock and Fisheries Research and Development Programme:
Under this programme, research is focused on goats, aquaculture and fisheries
Goats are mostly kept by smallholders and the rural poor, including women-headed households. They contribute substantially to the livelihoods of smallholder households as a source of income, food (meat and milk), and non-food products like manure and skins. The systems and livelihood analysis done by KAZARDI (2009) in the zone indicated that goat rearing was being practiced by majority of households irrespective of wealth rank. However, the low growth rate and very low slaughter weight, high kid mortalities and lack of knowledge on goat health management by both farmers and animal health workers were among the main constraints associated with the enterprise. Therefore, KAZARDI is aligning remedies regarding to goat breeds with high growth rates, slaughter weight, kid mortality and nutrition.
Some of the achievements under Goat research
- Although the indigenous Kigezi goats are highly adapted to agro-ecological conditions of the South Western Highlands of Uganda, they are characterized by small mature live body weight (20-25Kg) and slow growth rate (Average Daily weight Gain of 25g/day). This slow growth rate poses as a serious constraint to meaningful livestock production. To improve productivity of the Kigezi goats, upgrading has been achieved by cross breeding the indigenous Kigezi goats with the exotic South African Boer goats. Pure Boer bucks are being crossed with selected pure indigenous Kigezi goats to obtain the 50% Crossbred. The cross –breeding has resulted in F1 crosses giving up to an average daily weight gain (ADG) of 145g/day. Due to the increase in growth rate; goats are now reaching market weight at a much faster rate and there has been an increase in household income for rural farmers of up to 67% per goat from sales of breeding stock. The increased income from the sale of goats is being used by the farmers to access the basic needs like healthcare, improved shelter, nutrition and the farmers can now afford better education for their children.
- A study was done to determine the spectrum and prevalence of gastrointestinal (GI) parasites in goats on selected farms in the South Western Highlands of Uganda comprising the districts of Kanungu, Rukungiri, Kisoro and Kabale. Six different species of gastrointestinal parasites were detected in the samples across the region where Haemonchus contortus and Trichostrongylus spp. were the most prevalent in the region. The results from the study have been vital in designing appropriate control measures for gastrointestinal parasites to increase the productivity of the enterprise in the zone.
- The efficacy of commercially available Anthelmintics in the zone has been studied. Generally the efficacy of each of the four classical Anthelmintics used in the study varied between districts, with some of the drugs being effective or highly effective in some districts while being ineffective in others. This is a clear indication that gastrointestinal nematode parasites in SWHAEZ are generally resistant or are beginning to develop resistance to commercial Anthelmintics. Strategies that are less dependent on Anthelmintic usage have been proposed to achieve prophylaxis of gastrointestinal nematode infections in goats among the resource poor farmers in the zone. Farmers are being encouraged to use FAMACHA and nutritional supplementation in order to achieve sustainable parasite control without necessarily promoting gastro intestinal nematode resistance against the commercially available Anthelmintics. Other proposed methods aimed at restoring Anthelmintic efficacy to gastro intestinal nematodes in goats include; exploitation of refugia, regular monitoring of fecal egg counts at farm level and FAMACHA and treating only those individual animals with acceptable scores, improving grazing management schemes, using specific drug combinations and selecting animals which are resistant and resilient to gastro intestinal nematodes. All these recommendations have been well elaborated in the training packages targeting farmers and extension workers in the zone.
- A fodder bank of 0.8ha has also been established to provide high protein source of pasture legumes and the total grazing area has been expanded to maintain a sizeable stock.
Aquaculture and Fisheries
Kachwekano ZARDI is also spearheading research on Aquaculture and Fisheries in (SWHAEZ). The zone is endowed with rich aquatic resources; 7 lakes, numerous streams and rivers and swamps, which are ideal for a leading region in aquaculture and capture fisheries that can improve both nutrition and standards of living to the people in the zone and beyond.
Some of the achievements under aquaculture and fisheries research
- Three fish species; Mirror carp, Nile tilapia and African catfish, in diverse culture systems, have been promoted in the zone. Nile tilapia grows faster in fertilized earthen ponds with supplementary complete floating pellets and can attain table size of 300g on average or more in a period of 6 months, while the average body weight of more than 400 g on average can be attained by Nile tilapia when poly-cultured with African catfish in a period of six months. African catfish can attain an average body weight of 500g-1kg or more in the period of 6-10 months but better weights are obtained when poly-cultured with Nile tilapia, which has also proved to work for Mirror carp in earthen ponds, with both fish gaining mutually from the interaction.
- KAZARDI has characterised 6 minor lakes; Mutanda, Mulehe, Kayumbu, Chahafi, Bunyonyi and Nakasanda/Garubunda, in the zone for enhanced capture fisheries production.