MINISTER KABATSI,KIRUHURA LEADERS REJECT GOV’T PLANS TO LEASE OUT RANCHES
By Deo Okoodi
The State Minister for Animal Industry;Hon. Joy Kabatsi and local leaders in Kiruhura district have expressed disappointment over government plans to lease out ranches to private investors.
Members of parliamentary Committee on Agriculture were at Ruhenyere and Nshara government ranches in Kiruhura district to assess the status of the ranches and seek people’s opinion over government decision to give part of ranch land to private investors in the country.
The ranches whose land has been earmarked for lease to private investors include Malunzi, Aswa, Nshara and Ruhengyere.
Ms Kabatsi who insisted that help from private investors is not needed, said ranches were put up strategically to help people and leasing them out to private individuals will frustrate their original purpose.
The district chairperson Kiruhura; Sam Katugunda told www.mknewslink.com that as local leaders they are equally disturbed by government secret move and vowed to totally reject it.
Henry Mugarura, a youth and resident said they are optimistic they cannot get better services from a private investor than government because the interests of an investor are primarily profit making than service delivery.
The Committee chairperson Ms Lowila Oketayot said the visit and consultations follows a letter she received from the minister of Agriculture dated August 5, 2017 that government was to give part of ranches land to private investors who have capacity of better management and produce high level of animals to be exported and offer improved breeds to locals.
She said stake holders are questioning the procedure of identifying these investors adding that the decision by government to lease part of the ranches to private investors should not be implemented.
Dr Charles Lagu the Executive Director National Animal Genetic Resource Centre said ranches remain very important in providing genes for high quality livestock breeds.