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Encroachers Continue To Grab Gov’t Ranches Land-Minister Kabatsi

The State Minister for Animal husbandry, Joy Kabatsi, says they are still grappling with encroachment of government ranches.

Speaking to URN on Tuesday, Kabatsi said a lot of government land has been taken over by people who arrogantly use malicious means to acquire titles.

Over 504 acres of the Njeru stock farm in Njeru municipality were taken over by private developers. Njeru Stock Farm is a project under the National Animal Resource Centre and Data Bank (NAGRIC) for breeding livestock.   
In May 2019, the Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Committee of parliament paid a visit to monitor and assess the situation of Ruhengyere, Nshaara and Sanga ranches in Kiruhura District.

Dr. Charles Lagu, the Executive Director National Animal Genetics Resources Centre & Data Bank (NAGRC & DB) informed the committee that two square miles of Nshaara ranch have been taken with Ruhengyere and Sanga ranches losing 12 and one square mile respectively.

In February this year, Kabatsi asked government to cancel all tittles acquired on government ranches. She now says the ministry has started the process of recovering the land.

Dr. Charles Lagu says that in some places, they have registered over 90% success of evicting encroachers from government ranches. He named ranches of Aswa Ranch in Angagura Sub-county, Aruu North County said to have been leased off for 49 years by Pader District land board for 49 years to Karnvati Agro Ltd, Nshara ranch in Kiruhura Nbaruzia and Rusherere holding ranch.

He however said they are still grappling with other encroachers who still occupy government ranches. Njeru stock farm in Njeru municipality is one of those the Ministry is yet to repossess.

Njeru stock farm sits on 1,066 acres of land. Government acquired a 99 year lease from the late Ham Mukasa in 1950s for the farm land. After independence in 1962, Njeru Town Council inherited the 99-year lease. 

In June 1967, the Town Council subleased the land to Uganda Land Commission (ULC), whose sub lease expires in 2027. The user department was Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF). 

However, while appearing before the Bamugemereire-led Commission Lagu accused the municipality of leasing part of the land to private developers under unknown circumstances. But Njeru town council says the user department had stopped paying ground rent.

Lagu however says NAGRIC is able to conduct business including breeding of cattle, pigs and goats. The stock has over 200 cows, 60 of which are able to produce milk.


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