Special Report - FAO/GIEWS Livestock and Market Assessment Mission to Karamoja Region, Uganda - 3 April 2014


Mission Highlights

• Following improved security conditions, pastoralists have returned to the pre-protected kraal system seasonal grazing patterns, being free to carry-out traditional management practices inherent to the right to roam, with consequent better access to pasture and water.

• Despite a two-dekad dry spell in May-June, rainfall performance has been generally good along the season, with positive effects on grazing resources availability as confirmed by satellite-based data showing above long-term average vegetation growth across the region.

• Livestock body condition is generally good, with low scores only in some areas in the north with reduced pasture/water availability or with the presence of tse-tse flies. As expected, milking cows show the lowest body conditions, if compared to other classes of cattle.

• Outbreaks of trypanosomosis have increased in 2013 and are likely spreading southward from the Kidepo Valley National Park, allegedly with increased movements of buffalo that carries the tse-tse flies. Other endemic diseases have often been contained by effective controlling measures.

• In most markets, livestock prices showed a rising trend during the last three years and terms of trade for pastoralists have generally improved. Increasing sales of healthy animals in good body condition were noted in most markets as part of the normal livelihood strategy of local households.

• There is significant demand for local animals by Ugandan traders from other districts as well as from South Sudan and Kenya. Local herders are interested in purchasing heifers, often imported from outside the region, suggesting that local herds are recovering after their decimation during the protected kraal years.