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While most farmers in developing countries grow crops, raising livestock is what really moves the needle toward food security and farmer resilience. Collaborating with experts from Iowa State and Makerere Universities, the center has successfully integrated poultry, pigs and goats into the region’s farming operations, school activities, Nutrition Education Centers, and Youth Entrepreneurship Programs.

Livestock Venn DiagramBuilding on the success of farmer training in agronomy best practices, the CSRL livestock programs and management trainings have resulted in significant progress in childhood and adult nutrition, food production efficiency, and overall quality of life.

Some of the approaches we utilize include:

  • Diversify available food sources
  • Promote livestock as a source of income
  • Facilitate livestock savings programs
  • Provide livestock check-ups by community-based animal health workers
  • Incorporate animal protein into school lunch programs
  • Improve livestock management practices through regular trainings (e.g. feeding practices, structure design and construction, livestock vaccinations, litter management)
  • Provide a working example; Kurshid livestock demonstration area at Mpirigiti Rural Training Centre
  • Assist with construction of smallholder livestock facilities
  • Supply livestock to help start new farm operations or improve existing ones
  • Promote appropriate and sustainable feed sources
  • Conduct farm visits to community farmers, and youth at the schools every month
  • Organize trainings on beneficial breeding practices
  • Facilitate access to improved livestock genetics
  • Promote water collection and storage for livestock and household use
  • Encourage collaboration among neighbors to keep more animals

Continuing goals include:

  • Help livestock farmers increase their sustainable production of livestock and consumption of animal source foods
  • Provide additional livestock management trainings
  • Install water collection and storage systems for livestock and household use
  • Facilitate collective purchase and bulk storage of livestock feeds for greater affordability
  • Expand farmer support through cows or heifers
  • Improve genetics for increased milk and meat production
  • Promote formation of marketing groups to enhance livestock product marketing
  • Develop best practices publications in both English and Lusoga languages

Mukyala Nuubu Mukyala Nuubu takes care of her daughter Mayimuna Bint’s goats while she is at boarding school. Mayimuna is a youth livestock farmer, currently at high school learning a combination of science subjects. She became involved in livestock activities by attending trainings at her school provided by the CSRL Youth Entrepreneurship Program. Mayimuna started with four goat kids that were provided to her through the CSRL Livestock program for purposes of earning her school fees. She later received a mature female goat that was passed on to her from a farmer who had benefited from the CSRL goat program. Mayimuna now also hosts a Mubende buck which is utilized by other farmers in the community livestock improvement program aimed at crossbreeding the indigenous small East African goat. Using the Mubende buck has helped farmers avoid inbreeding, increase offspring size and weight, improve twinning ability, and maintain disease resistance. Mayimuna was able to increase her own stock by 10 kids. This allowed her to sell six goats to reinvest in her enterprise, use toward her school fees and domestic needs, as well as purchase a heifer for milk production.  

To make a gift to the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods, please click here to go directly to the ISU Foundation, or contact Sarah Roelfs at (515) 294-1031 or