Why Ugandan Beef is Top Priority on Global Shopping List

In 2018, Uganda made its maiden beef export to Egypt, shipping 50,000kg. This was the biggest consignment of beef the Pearl of Africa had ever exported at once.

This great success was a result of three agreements signed between Egypt and Uganda when the two countries’ leaders met in 2017.

Local media then reported that, “The shipment has been a culmination of three agreements that President Museveni signed with Egyptian leader Abdel Fatah al-Sisi during a visit to Cairo.”

Prior to the visit, President Museveni commissioned the Egypt-Uganda Food Security Company a few kilometres north of Kampala, the capital of Uganda. The company is one of the continent’s largest modern slaughterhouses.

During the commissioning, the President underscored the fact that Uganda’s beef was naturally the best in the world because the slaughtered animals are fed organically.

His comments were supported by research done by Uganda Investment Authority. “Uganda’s animals are fed on natural grass (more than 80% of the feeding), therefore beef is organically produced. This means there are very minimal grain feeding and nutritional supplements.”

In addition, beef from Uganda has low cholesterol and fat level. “The Ankole cattle, the main supplier of meat in Uganda have the leanest meat making it a healthier option for consumption,” the investment watchdog wrote in its report.

Aside from the low fats level, the flavor in Uganda’s meat has rendered it to become a darling of many meat lovers the world over. UIA sums it thus, “Uganda’s meat is known for good taste and flavor. This is a good market quality attribute.”

Statistics indicate that Uganda exports of meat and edible meat offal was $2.23 million during 2020. This is according to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade.

Uganda received more great news in 2020 when UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised Ugandan farmers they would have the opportunity to export their beef to the UK.

Speaking at the UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020, Mr Johnson said: “I have just told President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni that his beef cattle will have an honoured place on the tables of post-Brexit Britain.

“The United Kingdom is aiming at building a partnership that benefits all African countries,” Johnson said.

The news was welcomed with high gratitude by President Museveni who said: “I am glad that in his speech, the prime minister indicated that our products, including Uganda’s beef, would find its way on to the dining tables of post-Brexit Britain.”

“Our position has always been balanced trade that benefits all parties,” the President added. Uganda also got a commitment of beef funding to a tune of £15 million ($19.6 million).

What these developments meant was that the world had trust for Uganda’s beef.

To ensure the standard of meat remains high, the country has put a number policies and regulations in place. UIA notes that, “The livestock sector is governed by several policies and regulations including the national delivery of veterinary services, national veterinary drug policy, national hides, skins and leather policy, animal breeding policy and the animal feeds policy among others.”

 Statistics further indicate that livestock production constitutes an important subsector of Uganda’s agriculture, “contributing about 9 per cent of Gross Domestic Product and 17 per cent of Agricultural Gross Domestic Product and is a source of livelihood to about 4.5 million people in the country”.

“Cattle are the main source of meat in the country and are reared on rangelands which occupy 84 000 km². The greatest concentration of livestock is found in the “cattle corridor”, extending from South-Western to North Eastern Uganda,” UIA states.

The districts in the corridor include Ntungamo, Mbarara, Mpigi, Kiboga, Luwero, Apac, Lira, Soroti, Kumi, Mbale, Moroto, and Kotido. It is in this corridor that most of the beef production is done.

For now, Uganda’s continues to penetrate more markets in the region, continent, Europe and Middle East in a bid to deliver its natural flavoured, cholesterol-free beef. 

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