The new CoVAB Management takes over the management of Buyana Stock Farm
Story by: Harriet Musinguzi. PRO .COVAB
The entourage that comprised of Heads of departments from CoVAB and representatives of the Audit office Makerere University was taken on a guided tour of the 322.9 acre farm by the Farm manager Dr. Wasswa Mathias on Saturday 26th March 2022.
Prof. Kabasa welcomed the team to Buyana which he described as another wing of CoVAB. He said he was excited because a new more energetic team was getting on board and was optimistic that the ideas on table for revamping the farm would be expedited.
‘Institutional building cannot be realized in one day, even Makerere University which is celebrating 100 years of existence is still building for the future’ said Prof. Kabasa and urged the incoming management to consider running the institution on a business model that would encourage initiation of enterprises that would benefit both the individual and the institution. He said the area had a lot of potential for projects like apiary, crop, hay, silage as well as forestry, and that this was the only way out in ensuring optimum productivity given the fact that the funding availed for training students was very minimal.
Prof. Norbert Frank Mwiine, the Principal CoVAB who constituted the meeting into an academic Board commended the outgoing leadership for the energies exhibited in ensuring that the farm was running amidst the challenges. ‘I would like to unlock the potential of Buyana stock farm. I am aware that the farm was handed over to the School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal resources (SVAR)’ said Prof. Norbert Mwiine while chairing the wrap up meeting.
He said the college also had land on ranch 16 equivalent to 1 square kilometers located in Kiboga that was given the college by H.E, The President. ‘What has been given to us, we must be good stewards and utilize it’ he said, urging the College Board to come up with proposals as to how the said resources could be optimally untilised. He asked the Dean SVAR, Prof. Robert Tweyongyere to take lead in these efforts.
The manager Buyana stock farm Mr. Mathias Wasswa who has shepherded the grange since the year 2006 said the farm that has 110 heads of cattle and 21 goats was handed over to the college, then faculty of veterinary medicine in the year 1989 and that until 2021, the management was jointly undertaken by the college and the university.
He highlighted the mandates of the farm that included livestock farming and research. He however pointed out challenges that included inadequate staff that is both lean and tired. He said the farm was located in an area that was prone to drought and water for animals was a serious concern that greatly affected the performance of the animals. He said the facilities were initially planned to cater for 30 BVM students could no longer accommodate the even increasing numbers and the run down facilities.
Dr. Waswa said there were plans to revitalize the farm to a level of a Centre of excellence for business research, incubation, skilling and service and that a proposal had been written. He said once established, the Centre would help transform the farmers in the cattle corridor in the surrounding areas of Butambala, Mpigi, Gomba and others. He said plans were underway to have a cattle herd of 200 beef cattle and 150 Boer goat stocks for fattening and breeding, a slaughter house facility, an ambulatory artificial insemination Centre as well as commercial fodder production.