Help to set up goat rearing project

Status: In progress

The goat project commenced in April, 2009 with 6 goats, and shortly after a few months, the goats began giving birth at intervals with some giving birth to twins. This brought the total number to 11 goats within a period of six months. However, one kid was knocked down by an over speeding cyclist reducing the number to 10. In January 2010, the youth bought more three adult goats with funds resulting from the youth’s crafts sold by Esther and Maria in Europe between October to December, 2009. This has increased the number from 10 to 13 goats. 4 others are currently pregnant and soon the youth expect the number to multiply. The goat project initially involved six youth but currently as the number of goats multiply, more youth have gotten involved increasing the number from 6 to 11 youth. Recently in January, two young goats were passed on to two youth. More three are yet to be passed on to others when they reach a somewhat mature age.
The three males could be sold in three months time, and new goats could then be purchased.

Table 1.1: Expenses incurred on the goat rearing project as at 31st December, 2009
No. Item Q’ty Unit Cost ($) Total cost ($)
1 Local goats 6 30 180
2 Transport 10 10
3 Goat cake 6 3.5 21
4 Goat treatment 7.5 7.5
5 Spray powder 1 2.5 2.5
6 Salt 6 3 18
7 Vaccination 6 2 12
8 Vet Certificate 1 3 3
9 Insemination 3 1 3

·Scarcity of pastures during the dry seasons
·One incident of accident was recorded by an over speeding cyclist
·The goats grow at a slow rate therefore returns take long to be realized.

How they have overcome the challenges:
·Scheduled and urgent vaccinations
·During dry seasons, the goats are fed on tree branches, food wastes
·Since the goats take quite long to mature, some youth are also involved in art and crafts to earn an income
·The goats are also being cross bred to ensure that fast growing/improved breeds are obtained

Way forward:
·Look for funding options to buy more goats since more youth are very much interested in the project
·Involve married women who have no employment. Some have already shown interest in joining the group

What you can do:

1) Advise the youth on how to store food for the dry season.
2) develop a guide on how to make hay or other dry food - apparently nobody in the village makes hay.

Thanks Joanne for the resource. I will get time to read it.



Hi Emmanuel, thought this comic will be a valuable resource for your community.
Yours in Service
JIS Birungi


Hi Neighbors,

I found this interesting article on which appears to be one of the successful stories in Uganda. I want to share it with all who are involved or interested in a similar venture. Daily Monitor is one of the leading News Papers in Uganda.



Earning millions from goat rearing


One of the advantages of cross breed goats is that 85 per cent of them exotic breeds deliver two kids at once. The goats also mature faster and weigh more than local breeds. Photos by Ismail Kezaala.

Buhigiro is elated upon her recent sale of 10 Savana cross-goat-offspring for Shs1m and she explains why. “Just over one year ago, I received six cross-goats (Savana origin), one of them a billy, from Paul Ssembeguya’s ranch.

Ms Janet Buhigiro is married and a mother of nine. Her third-born, a daughter, is at university and the last born in P.1. While she didn’t have an opportunity for a meaningful education because of the cultural perceptions her parents had, Buhigiro is determined that her children will have the best education as long as she can fend for them. And fending for her offspring is what she does through the lucrative proceeds from livestock rearing in Rwensakara Village, Rwemiyaga sub-county.
Buhigiro is elated upon her recent sale of 10 Savana cross-goat-offspring for Shs1m and she explains why. “Just over one year ago, I received six cross-goats (Savana origin), one of them a billy, from Paul Ssembeguya’s ranch. Unlike the local breeds, the offspring are ready for the market at only eight months, they fetch more money, are easier to sell and their meat is more tender and tastier.”
Ms Grace Kaaka who lives in Bukiragi Village, in Rwentutsi sub-county is equally upbeat on account of a bull she received from Ssembeguya Estates. “It has sired nine cross-offspring which are in the range of two to three months.

In body mass, they are equal to or bigger than local breeds seven months old. I am also happy that the offspring are ready for mating at only 12 months unlike the local breeds that take more than three years,” she says. With a herd of 50 goats, the joy the elderly Kaaka, who cares for four children and some grandchildren left by a deceased son, is immense.

She recollects that it is the same Ssembeguya Estates that excavated the valley dam at Bukiragi from which she and other pastoralists in the area water their livestock. “Because water is readily available, courtesy of Bukiragi and Kakyinga dams, more and more people are aspiring to improve the quality of their livestock to fast growing and better paying breeds; Ssembeguya Estates’ veterinary doctors in addition visit us and attend to our livestock at no cost,” adds Mr Caleb Kamulindi, the local chairman.

Paul Ssembeguya is the proprietor of Ssembeguya Estates Uganda Ltd (SEUL), a livestock rearing enterprise he founded on UK kyeyo savings in January 1991, initially on 158 acres with Nsagala (Nkole) and Karamoja (Zebu) cattle breeds. Realising that the venture was gold-laden, he increased the ranch size to three square miles by 2003 on which he already had 1,300 goats, the exotic boars, rare-white Savana (meat-only) breeds and local goats.

Explaining why he ventured into ranching, he says other businesses are fraught with trickery and fraud, “I carried out research on how one can make money out of livestock. On a good farm with appropriate facilities, good veterinary staff and managerial skills, a Boran cow produces every year. The carrying capacity is two heads of cattle per acre and a sizeable stock, for instance of 1,000 cows could have a mortality rate of two per cent, thus an assurance of 980 animals every year. The female:male ratio is 50:50 and one heifer is sold at Shs1m.”

When Ms Joan Kakwenzire, the presidential advisor on poverty alleviation introduced him to President Yoweri Museveni in 2004, he subsequently signed a memorandum of understanding with the government and he got assistance for further expansion of his ranch with more two square miles as the first step in the quest for starting a live goat and goat meat export venture for people in Uganda’s range lands. Under the memorandum of understanding, the government committed Shs6.5bn (to be released in batches) for procuring 54,000 local Mubende goats to which SEUL’s contribution is Shs700m worth of Savana and Boar goats of which 150 are billies and 200 female. The “wealth creation” arrangement requires that SEUL gives one bBilly to each participating farmer. They will get the animals in batches of 50, which would allow for the individual ranchers’ gradual attainment of management experience.
Superior yields.

The Ssembeguya goats attain slaughter weight in only eight months, compared to the two and a half years the local breeds take. The other advantage is that 85 per cent of the exotic breeds deliver two kids at once, 10 per cent deliver three kids and only five per cent deliver a single kid. This is the productive superiority that the project is cultivating.

SEUL initially imported 50 Savana and Boar goats from South Africa at a cost of Shs1.5m each; the two breeds now number 3,500. To ensure that ranchers do not dispose of the goats for atleast three years, during which period the critical mass for sustained export would have been generated, they have been tagged and veterinary staff based at Sssembeguya’s ranch supervise the farmers for quality sustenance.
The government and SEUL are in partnership, the multi-pronged Presidential Goat Rearing Initiative meant to breed goats for distribution under the Poverty Alleviation Programme executed under Naads, the “wealth creation project”, and related corporate social responsibilities outreach to ranchers in Sembabule District under which they are assisted to improve the quality of their breeds.

Under another arrangement, the wealth creation programme, a cooperative movement initially comprising 108 farmers was started. Each farmer with atleast 150 acres would get 500 goats. This is the nucleus for generating the critical mass ideal for sustained export. Under its Corporate Social Responsibility arrangement, SEUL is also giving out two billies to every individual with atleast 50 goats supported by good pasture.

While Ssembeguya’s idea was initially rearing cattle for beef, he also sought to exploit the reality that they are not interested in the flourishing shrubs/bushes that goats love to feed on. It is also true that the goats have no interest in grass, the delicacy cattle graze hence the two can successfully be raised on the same ranch.

For his efforts, Ssembeguya won the 2006 Investor of the year award from the Diaspora. He employs 50 staff, including veterinary doctors and an assortment of farm hands. He has introduced and shown the value of selective bush-clearing to other ranchers, thereby improving their properties’ carrying capacity which has also improved their livestock’s weight-gain and beef quality.

Also on offer as part of corporate social responsibility is a bull to each rancher with at-least 50 cows, and ranch visits by Ssembeguya veterinary staff who inspect and advice on the quality of pasture and other farm facilities in Sembabule District. The farmer returns the bull for transfer to another rancher after three years, a practice aimed at avoiding in-breeding.

However according to Dr Francis Byekwaaso, the Manager for Planning in Naads, the undertaking has not been without upsets. “After a disbursement of Shs1bn, there was stagnation until the Ministry of Agriculture opted for Naads carrying out the project.” He says so far, close to Shs400m has been spent on 722 goats that have been passed on to the ranchers in 27 groups, each of which has 26 ranchers. “The government has refocused on this project under the guidance of the Ministry of Agriculture and budgeted Shs1bn for 2009/10.”

Dr Byekwaaso elaborates that the National Animal Genetic Resource Centre will work closely with Naads on this project and the district of Sembabule to monitor its performance since its success depends on their supervision. Under Naads, the farmer brings back 70 per cent of the yield for passing on to other farmers in the district. If each of the 108 farmers has 500 goats, it is expected that in two years, an export of 11, 000 goats per month would be possible.

Facts about Savannah goats
• First recognised in South Africa as a distinct breed with the formation of the Savannah Goat Breeders Society on November 21, 1993.

• In 1955, local multi-coloured lop-eared goats were used in the foundation herd on Messrs D S U Cilliers and Sons farm, and the result was a fertile, heat and parasite tolerant, drought-resistant White Savanna goat with good meat quality.

• Hardy and adaptable with natural resistance against tick-born diseases such as heart water and other external parasites.

• Drought-resistant and easily endure cold and rain as well.

• Relatively simple, low nutritional requirements and can survive and reproduce where other small stock breeds cannot exist, thus produce a higher net profit because of lower input costs.

• Cared for under ideal conditions, the male can attain 100kg and the female 60kg weight; in 100 days, the male attains 30kg and the female 25kg. They attain slaughter weight in eight to 10 months.

• They breed year round, exhibit early sexual maturity and have long productive lives; 85 per cent deliver two kids, 10 per cent deliver three kids and five per cent deliver a single kid

• They have been selected for rapid growth and good carcass conformation; their pure white colour makes them much sought after for religious purposes slaughter and other various reasons.

• Excellent reproduction, muscular development, good bones and strong legs and hooves.
How Ssembeguya Estates was started

• 1986: Paul Ssembeguya accepts maternal uncle Edward Mugalu’s (RIP) advice that with sound management, ranching is a “gold-mine.”

• 1988: Initially buys 158 acres of land in Sembabule from work savings in the UK; stocks 70 indigenous cows and a few goats.

• 1989: Imports the first batch of 57 of Savana and Boar goats from South Africa.

• In 2004: President Museveni meets Ssembeguya at the ranch; A memorandum of understanding is signed for goat multiplication, supply and distribution among farmers; other two square miles added to the ranch.

• In 2006: Partnership to supply improved goats under prosperity for all programme entered with Naads – 722 goats supplied.

• By 2010: Stock of more than 3,500 pure white Savana and Boars as well as goat-crosses programme continues.

• Livestock holding capacity: Two cattle and 36 goats on each acre.

• More than 1,000 cattle, mixture of Bonsmara and Boran and their crosses.


Here are the three goats that were purchased following sales of the crafts in Europe.



The goats are two and half months. They didn't have shots at 1 and 2 months.


The goats ARE too cute - but they also look too young to be weaned from their mothers - are they already 3 months??? And did they have shots at 1 and 2 months? I hear stress can actually kill the mother goat when her babies are taken away, and it must be a very careful process - I'm sure you can find out from your vet.

Ginger :)


Great news! Thanks for the pics! The kids are too cute


Hello all,

Below are some two photos as some of the two young goats that are a product of the goats bought earlier on for the youth last year. The youth who are the initial beneficiaries have also began donating to others. This is the beginning of the cycle. This took place on 21st January in the village. More young goats will be donated with time when they mature to such a stage. About more six will be donated in the near future.

Next week, more 3 youth will each be getting a goat; the three goats are a result of the proceeds from the craft sales. They will be bought on the 23rd January by their youth Chairman, Richard. I will be feeding you with the updates soon.

youth and the goats.jpg
giving out two young goats.jpg

Hi Leutele,

Don´t know if you saw the pictures in the gallery - Emmanuel (he) is the local representative from Uganda, I am Maria, the facilitator of Wakitaka.
Hope this helps you to give names a face.



This is the thing, I can never tell if Emmanuel wear scarfs and skirts or trousers.





Funny , I caught up with you again.What is your real name. Are you Emmaneul. Do not be interested with anything I do. Its not worth it. I think I caught up with you asking after me on Images. So what is your real name and are you from Uganda. Sometimes the truth saves alot of time and effort. I think my area is now projects not operational or functional work. You are doing extremely well in your field.



Hi Virginia,

It is a project started,and being under poverty striken area,alot is need on the ground.
Hope you can now access my village without problem.I realized it was online resently.

With regards
Everline Were.


Hi Virginia,

Even if there is money for one uniform,its good to have it.
This will make a change in the life of one child.Remember
one stirch saves nine.

With regards
Everline Were.


Hi Leutele,

thanks for your message. As Emmanuel told you probably already, the youths bought the goats and have started rearing and mating them. So far they know what to do, so there is no urgent need for more information. For the currency, you probably mean the sum in Ugandan Shillings (USH).

I am still curious about this PRADAN project you talked about in one of your first comments - do you have any further information on this?

have a good day,


Hi Emanuel,

Congratulations and thanks for that. Hope goats will be healthy and okay. In your opinion is 238 USD price cheap or not. and what other currency are you using. sorry I just need to understand. Take care,