Dr. Tonny Kidega is the Founder/ Managing Director of Gulu Uganda Country Dairy Farm (GUCD).He is 35 years old. He holds a bachelor’s Degree in Veterinary Medicine from Makerere University Kampala Uganda. He is a highly motivated Christian Veterinarian with experience in Veterinary extension services delivery in remote and war affected areas of Northern Uganda.
Gulu Uganda Country Dairy farm is a 20 milking cow farm located about 10km north of Gulu town in Northern Uganda. It’s a model, modern and a medium sized dairy farm producing about 300 liters of milk daily.
My passion as a dairy veterinarian is to bring a vivid and an evident modern dairy practices that will bring transformation and revitalization of the dairy industry that collapsed during the 20 years civil war in northern Uganda.
The Goal of Gulu Uganda Country Dairy (GUCD) is; to help build a viable, growing and profitable dairy industry in Northern Uganda that will create jobs for this community and improve their livelihoods.
GUCD is at the center of this plan and will be used in the following ways to accomplish this goal;
- Model Dairy Farm.
- Research farm
- A training Facility
Model Dairy Farm; GUCD is a visual showcase where we can clearly demonstrate new ideas in dairy cattle housing, feeding and best practices for milk production. It will show and demonstrate new ideas in producing feeds that will improve milk production.
Research Farm; GUCD is a farm where we will continually search for news practices in nutrition, feeding, genetics and reproductive protocols that will improve the overall performance of the dairy farm.
GUCD is a farm where we will continually search for new crops and cropping practices including the use of manure and other fertilizers to produce feed that will increase milk production.
GUCD will demonstrate crop storage and use of silage practices that can provide a year round supply of high quality feed harvested at maximum nutritional value and volume to improve milk production.
A Training Facility; GUCD is a facility where we shall provide both onsite and offsite teaching of programs and protocols to the surrounding communities. We will direct most of our teaching to farmers who have multiple cow herds or who desire to expand their herds to 10 or more. We are interested in teaching young aspiring dairy farmers the principles of managing and operating a successful dairy farm.
By winning a grant of $5000 USD the farm will be able to overcome some of the challenges mentioned below.
The farm has been having challenges getting electricity onsite due to financial constraints. The power would help the farm progress to pasteurization of milk since the government banned sales of raw milk. The farm will need about $4000 USD to purchase a transformer.
The farm still lacks genetically quality cows as a starting stock so that they can gradually improve those cows through artificial insemination and the use of sexed semen. The farm will need to invest about $1000 USD to purchase quality sexed semen from USA to improve their genetics to ultimately improve their production.
The farm would like to strongly embark on their Veterinary extension programs to reach many more farmers and train them both onsite and offsite but lacks a good 4wd vehicle to help them reach those remote farmers who are in dire need of veterinary services to improve their production potential. Farm will need about $15000 USD to purchase a pick-up truck for their veterinary extension service.
The farm has achieved a number of accolades over the years as a recognition of the transformation and scale of impact it has had on the communities.
Dr.Tonny Kidega was the Best Farmer in Uganda 2015 and the farm was awarded $14,000 USD worth of farm machinery. The competition was sponsored by KLM airlines, Dutch Embassy, Vision Group Uganda and DFCU bank.
The farm received a platinum national award for the best quality raw milk in 2015 from Uganda Dairy Development Authority (DDA)
The farm has been an inspiration for many farmers who wanted to make their dreams of dairy farming come alive after the dairy industry collapsed during the war. A number of modern farms have come up in the region and have created jobs to the local community as a result of our inspiration, encouragement and motivation.
The farm received a startup fund from Partners Worldwide Inc. USA in 2012 to enable it build modern dairy structures and a training center.
In its sustainability plan the farm is currently producing 300 liters of raw milk per day that is sold instantly in Gulu town and we use the money to pay staff salaries and improve on cow genetics. The farm intends to produce about 1000 liters per day in 3 years and hopes to start processing pasteurized milk, yoghurt and ice cream. The farm is also producing fresh vegetables that is sold in the local market every week.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Tonny Kidega (Uganda) – kidega_tonny[at]hotmail.com
Illustrations provided by Kidega Tonny and GUCD.
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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