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On The Farm: The benefits of diversified livestock feeding
NTV’s On the Farm feature this week travels to Kiruhura district to meet a farmer who gives his cows a variety of feeds

Farmers should invest heavily in feeding their livestock if they are to maximize on productivity.

NTV’s On the Farm feature this week travels to Kiruhura district to meet a farmer who gives his cows a variety of feeds.

The quality and quantity nutrition livestock gets, greatly determines the level of productivity. The scarcity and fluctuating quantity and quality of animal feeds of late, is the major reason experts give low productivity.

Dick Bugingo is a farmer in Kyakabungo village, Kiruhura District, 10 kilometres from Lyantonde town. Bugingo once reared a herd of indigenous Ankole cattle, but has since become a commercial Friesian cow farmer. 

The Friesian cows are reared on a free range system on Bugingo’s more than 20 acres of land. He however invested in planting a variety of foods to supplement the feeds for his animals. Some types of the grass he grows are Chrolis Gayana commonly known as Orunyankokoore in Runyankole, Mucuna, and silver leaf.

According to Bugingo’s experience, the varied diet has improved the productivity of his animals.

A lot of the grass is fed to the cows as hay but farm manager, Dan Kyeyune cautions that not all grasses can be used to make hay.

Bugingo says his animals have healthy food throughout the year, no matter the weather. He has also turned his farm into a learning centre for aspiring farmers from all parts of the country.

Farmers have continuously cried out to government about inadequate and low quality feeds for their animals. This inadequacy is blamed on many factors which include land shortage, high costs and changing climate.