YAP Proposal #99: “Eradicating poverty with dairy farming” (Tonny Kidega, Uganda)

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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;

  1. Model Dairy Farm.
  2. Research farm
  3. 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.

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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.


This post is published as proposal #99 of “YAP” – our “Youth Agripreneur Project”.

The first selection of the winners will be based on the number of comments, likes and views each proposal gets.

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23 thoughts on “YAP Proposal #99: “Eradicating poverty with dairy farming” (Tonny Kidega, Uganda)

  1. I have been watching this farm grow through the online posts and I think they are doing a wonderful job. I hope it continues to thrive and hope it helps the comunity even more through the years to come. Way to go Dr.Tony!

  2. This is just the beginning for dairy industry development in the land of northern Uganda. Great job. Let’s aim higher.

  3. Dr.Kidega and thank you for that entreCongsentrepreneuraliative. Your undertaking is not only going to improve the quality of life of the people of Gulu, but revitalise the entire diary industry in Uganda and the region. Keep rising higher.

  4. I love your passion to see transformation of the dairy lanscape in an area previous ravaged and a land regarded as not possible to have some successful dairy farm. This farm is an inspiration to many young people not just the ones in the north but also to the entire country. Your desired to share knowledge and provide insights to interested and starting farmers is such a treasure.

  5. Congratulations Dr. Kidega.The project, its mission and outreach services to upcoming farmers are so inspiring. Count me among the online benefitiaries. God bless Uganda.

  6. Dr Kidega, Thanks for demystifying dairy farming and overcoming the stereo types we have grown up with that this or that cannot be done in certain regions of Uganda. In fact for a long time Ugandans did not know that Northern Uganda was very fertile and capable of growing most crops. But thank to you and other like you which have shown that this is not the case. Thanks for showing that jobs are available in farming but there is need for commitment hard work and determination plus patience and good planning. This project to me should be used as a microcosm around which dairy farming in Northern Uganda should be supported to expand so that it can become cost effective to add value and hence be able to collect milk from other farmers and then supply the much needed milk products in Northern Uganda, the rest of Uganda starting from the eastern Uganda t( where most people are buying overpriced UHT milk) and then South Sudan, whose current supply is still limited and hence price wise out of reach for most people especially the children who need it most.

  7. Great i have watched you on NTV and took interest to read about you. I think you have a vision that can benefit the entire world. Such a great patriot ready to sacrifice for transformation of his community

  8. Thanks Tonny for that innovation. Its only such people who can drive Uganda into a middle income economy not the thieves. I request you email me on patrickbaguma636@yahoo.com so that I can continue to learn more from you. Best regards.

  9. Hullo Mr.Kidega.
    I watched what you’re doing on television last nite & was very much impressed by good work you’re doing.
    Congratulations and keep it up.one day would want to visit you while in Gulu.
    Congs once again.

  10. Tonny-

    It’s so exciting to read and see what God has done and will do when his people are faithful. Praying Gods blessings continue to flow and you all continue to seeks Godd direction for the work there. Northern Uganda will forever be changed as we seek God and follow him! Pray we get to see you again soon!
    Amy

  11. That is my farmer…I was so proud seeing on on TV.

    Am glad to read this and count myself blessed to have interacted with you during the farmer -field attachment. Thank you for being a great inspiration. and for the countless lessons i learned. Am grateful
    Sylvia

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