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June 13, 2024
Kampala Daily
NationalNews

MPs grill Agriculture ministry officials for purchasing goats at Shs7.3 million each

Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has tasked the Ministry of Agriculture to explain the circumstances under which Shs7.3 million was spent on the purchase of each goat, yet the majority of the goats bought ended up dying within the first week after distribution.

The ongoing probe follows the December 2023 Auditor General’s report that queried the Shs15 billion Goat Roll-Out project implemented in seven districts, where the Ministry of Agriculture procured 2,902 local indigenous goats worth Shs1.156 billion and imported 71 goats at Shs528 million.

According to the Auditor General, John Muwanga, all the 150 goats distributed in Nakasongola district worth Shs52.5 million had died, whereas in Gomba district, out of the 700 goats distributed worth Shs245 million, 259 goats valued at Shs90.7 million had died, thus indicating that a total of 409 goats out of 850 distributed in Gomba and Nakasongola worth Shs143 million had died by the time of the audit in September 2023.

While appearing before PAC this afternoon, Steven Kajura, the Project Coordinator at the Ministry of Agriculture, defended the cost spent on each goat, saying the goats were bought from South Africa and were of a higher pedigree.

“The goats were obtained from South Africa & Namibia; we bought high pedigree animals, and that cost includes insurance and flight, so it came to Shs7.3 million. The exotic pedigree animals are usually very expensive; you are free to Google and you will come to around the same range,” he said.

On the issue of the goats dying in the first week of purchase, the agricultural ministry officials blamed the supplier for intentionally supplying sick and emaciated goats to the government.

In 2019, President Yoweri Museveni launched the Exotic Goat Rollout Program to bolster goat meat production in Uganda.

The rollout started in the districts of Sembabule, Gomba, Mubende, Kyankwanzi, Wakiso, Nakasongola, and Nakaseke.

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