Cattle Farmers transacting business at Buseruka livestock market in Hoima district on Monday.Photo by Emmanuel Okello.
There is excitement among livestock farmers in Bunyoro sub-region following the reopening of cattle markets.
In June this year, while announcing the second nationwide lockdown, President Yoweri Museveni closed livestock markets across the country as part of the measures to contain the second wave of the pandemic.
Museveni argued that livestock markets attract people from different parts of the country, which could fuel the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19.
Last week, Museveni directed the reopening of livestock markets under strict adherence to the Standard Operating Procedures-SOPs.
The reopening of the livestock markets has brought a sigh of relief among farmers in Bunyoro who say they were struggling to provide for their families due to lack of income following the closure of the markets.
Lam Karubanga, a cattle farmer in Kasenyi lyato in Buseruka sub-county in Hoima district, says that the closure of livestock markets hit them hard since his livelihood entirely depends on animals.
He, however, says that he is now relieved since the markets have been reopened and will be able to sell some animals to provide for his family.
Sam Ntambara, another farmer in Buseruka says that life had become extremely difficult for them since they didn’t have any alternative source of income.
Richard Balikurungi, a cattle farmer at the Butiaba landing site in Buliisa equally, says that the closure of the livestock markets had made life unbearable for him and his entire family. He, however, says that he will now be able to sell off some animals and buy food and medicine for his family members and animals.
Rogers Kabindi also a cattle farmer in Kiryandongo explains that he had failed to buy chemicals to spray his animals due to lack of money.
Nathan Adegi, the speaker Buseruka sub-county in Hoima district says the closure of the livestock markets had negatively impacted their local revenue base.
The closure of the livestock markets triggered an increase in the price of beef from Shillings 12,000 to 14. 000 a kilogram.