Cattle Bred At Aswa Ranch To Supply Egyptian Beef Factory, says PM Rugunda

Acholi Paramount Chief Rwot Onen David Acana II at the meeting with Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda(Phpto by James Onono)

Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has told leaders from Acholi sub region led by the Paramount Chief Rwot David Onen Acana II  that government intends to supply the cattle currently being bred at Aswa ranch to a private beef processing company–the Egypt-Uganda Food Security Company.

The new privately owned beef processing company located along Bombo road in Luweero district was opened by President Yoweri Museveni late last year. The company is reportedly owned by , Hassan Fath-allah,  an Egyptian national.

The Acholi leaders met with Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda in his office in Kampala on Tuesday to express concern over the proposed plan by government to give away Aswa ranch to private ranchers and senior NRM leaders.

Dr Rugunda Ruhakana is reported to have told the Acholi leaders that the cows will be fattened at Aswa Ranch before being given to the Egypt-Uganda Food Security Company.

The factory, according to sources who attended the meeting, quoted Rugunda as saying that the factory will need 400 cattle each day and government is doing all it can to meet the demand by taking over three state owned ranches in the country.

But the Paramount Chief, Rwot Acana II, expressed that leaders from Acholi are being stopped from visiting the ranch. In response, Rugunda reportedly the leaders should get in touch with government before visiting the land since it[ ranch] is guarded.

While opening the company the Egypt-Uganda Food Security Company last year, Museveni said the company was crucial to the Ugandan economy because it will make Uganda’s beef accessible to the international market.

For years there has been suspicion in Acholi that the government and some powerful individuals have had their eyes set on the 46,000 hectares Aswa ranch.

The ranch was economically vibrant in the 1960s and produced milk, meat and other livestock products but was looted during the war that pitted the then National Resistance Army (NRA) against several rebel groups in the 1980s.

Acholi leaders at the meeting with Prime Minister Rugunda included Gulu Chairman Ojara Mapenduzi, his Kitgum counterpart Jackson, the Acholi Paramount Chief Rwot David Acana II and his Prime Minister Ambrose Ola.

Another meeting is scheduled next week between the Acholi leaders and the Prime Minister to continue with the discussion.