This is the current report of Ziwa Ranchers from the time it was taken over by Mukwano Enterprises Ltd and Rwenzori Commodities Ltd. The earlier article about Ziwa Ranchers in the Daily Monitor under different management is in complete contrast to what Ziwa Ranchers is under its present leadership.
We held discussions with the senior staff of Ziwa Ranch including ranch doctor before the guided tour. Mr. Fez is the resident Ranch Manager, while Mr. Iqbal, the Mukwano Group of Companies General Manager, regularly travels from Kampala to the ranch. We re-iterated our mission captured as monitoring and evaluation against the business plan that had been submitted during subleasing in 2005. We requested Ziwa to present to us the status quo and they went as follows:
A lot had been carried out on the infrastructure and more would still be undertaken so that accessibility and staff as well as animal welfare would reach the highest level.
A 16 km boundary road along the eastern side had been graded properly. In addition, the internal road network, with the exception of some areas which were not worked on due to the rainy season, has been repaired nicely and we were later able to drive along them at between 60kmph and 100kmph.
The internal fencing is in good condition with the exception of the Kafu – Masindi stretch which the contractors who worked on the Masindi road destroyed. However, repair works were in progress and is expected to be completed by end of May 2013.
All the houses taken over from ULI were rehabilitated and are in good condition. A further 4 more housing units for staff and other workers had been constructed. There were plans to add more housing units as the number off cattle increases requiring more employees.
The standing total herd size was 2826 of cattle made up of Borans, Bonsmara, crosses of Bonsmara and Boran breeds and Ankole Zebu cattle crossed by Borans and Bonsmara breeds,as compared to 1,750 heads of cattle when we visited during September 2009. A big number of cattle had since been sold off.
The qualities of cattle were reportedly excellent as all husbandry measures as well as infrastructure were in place supported by an experienced veterinary doctor, Dr.Echoku. Furthermore, the goat population hard increased from about 500 in September 2009 to 878 now, with more births recorded almost everyday.
Record keeping, that had been computerized, was excellent and key to their success.
Despite the challenges the ranch is facing, management is determined to realize its dream of developing the best beef (and later dairy) industry in Uganda using modern methods. Therefore, after several technical, financial and market studies, and after the company redeveloping its business plan for ranching at Kiryana, it is re-focusing its vision.
The Company has intensified its efforts to source for investment partnerships towards the re-development of the ranch, and indicators show that required funding shall be available sooner than later through such efforts. It is believed that such investment partnerships would result into:
(a) Ziwa Ranchers Ltd is very promising and we rated it excellent. It has the vision and determination to achieve its goal.
(b) Regular quarterly visits would be an incentive for them to even do more and more.