The Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Frank Tumwebaze has appointed Dr Peter Beine as the substantive Executive Director of the National Animal Genetic Resources Centre and Databank (NAGRC&DB). Beine replaces Charles Lagu who is battling several charges at the Anti-corruption court.
Since April 2020, NAGRC has been operating without a substantive ED and this was one of the things Tumwebaze had to resolve after being deployed there by the appointing authority if he was to be taken seriously.
Tumwebaze, who is determined to revitalize the Agriculture docket consulted with various stakeholders and he was informed that there was no way Lagu could be reinstated yet he was still battling court cases.
A section of Lagu’s sympathizers especially from the West Nile tried to defend that their son was being victimized and implored Tumwebaze to think about it and find a way to have Lagu back.
Tumwebaze indeed put into consideration Lagu’s sympathizer’s request and went on to consult the Chief government lawyer or Attorney General, Solicitor General and as well NAGRC&DB Board of Directors for legal advice.
All these felt that true Lagu had done “some good things” during his tenure at NAGRC but also along the way he erred here and there (with his knowledge or without) and that’s why he was in court.
They wished Lagu good luck in his court battles and any near future assignment but could not recommend him to go back to NAGRC.
With Lagu’s fate sealed, they recommended Dr Beine who had been the Acting ED to take over and Tumwebaze had to act accordingly.
Speaking about the appointment, Tumwebaze emphasized the critical role of stock farms in the improvement of the national livestock herd and the active participation of NAGRC&DB in farmer education and transformation of the sector from subsistence farming to commercial agriculture.
“During my visit of the cattle corridor and in the East, I noted with concern the poor performance of some of our cattle breeds in the community and I have tasked the team to ensure that their outputs are for the betterment of our farmers in the community. This will be achieved through continuous farmer training sessions and community interfaces,” Tumwebaze said.
Tumwebaze has also set out performance targets for NAGRC&DB leadership under Dr. Beine that include; centre farms becoming knowledge transfer centres to farmers and general private sector actors, reducing the animal import bill to zero, develop a licensing and regulatory framework for animal breeders which will be used to support, license and regulate private animal breeders, Breed, multiply and avail for uptake at subsidized prices, sufficient numbers of breeding stock on all its centre farms and ranches, effective conservation of all indigenous animal genetic resources, produce safe animal feed enough to meet its internal organizational needs and for availing to private farmers for uptake at subsidized prices, roll out of 18 functional hatcheries in each sub-region and also cover the country with animal genetic improvement services such as artificial insemination and embryo transfer.
WHAT MAKES BEINE TICK
Sources Pepper Digital talked to said the achievements at NAGRC&DB during the period he has been in acting capacity convinced everyone that he was ready for the task.
These include the unprecedented increase of Non-Tax-Revenue (NTR) collections from the constant UGX 700M since the start of the agency to UGX 3.88 Billion within just seven months of change of leadership. This was vital in the wake of fiscal contractions arising out of the COVID 19 pandemic when the government suffered severe budget constraints.
The government ranches and farms have been revived and are now performing very well. Conservation programs for indigenous local breeds as well as community animal breeding programs are now fully functioning and the stakeholders are energized and excited about NAGRC&DB’s current performance.
There has also been a tremendous increase in the number of elite livestock breeding stock bred and multiplied on NAGRC&DB ranches and availed to the public for uptake. On account of the turn-around meritorious performance, NAGRC&DB was, in December 2020, voted the best livestock agency in Uganda through a process led by NPA, OPM and H.E The President and Vice President’s Offices.
Against the backdrop of his performance, the Board of Directors appraised and unanimously recommended the appointment of Dr. Beine as substantive Executive Director for NAGRC&DB on account of meritorious performance.
This appointment comes with a set of policy and service performance targets the agency must deliver in line with the NDP3 development goals over the next five years.
“The performance targets for NAGRC&DB are already clarified in the Agro-Industrialization Program Implementation Action of the NDP3; the Minister has further given me policy performance targets to deliver in the current medium-term. My team’s work is cut out and we pledge to deliver on our contribution towards the transformation of the sector from subsistence agriculture to commercial agriculture,” Dr Beine told Pepper Digital on phone after receiving the news of his appointment.
Dr. Peter Beine has been the Acting Executive Director at NAGRC&DB for over one year. Previously, Dr Beine was the Assistant Commissioner for Agricultural Planning and Development at the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries of Uganda.
He has also worked as a research scientist and manager with NARO and ASARECA and has extensive experience in international agricultural development project management with the World Bank, UNEP/GEF and CABI International.
A doctoral graduate of the University of Greenwich in the United Kingdom with a PhD in Agricultural Economics with a focus on agricultural production and productivity economics, Dr. Beine also holds a Master’s Degree in Agriculture from the University of Pretoria in South Africa and a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture from Makerere University.
Dr. Beine gained a lot of ranching experience and livestock development from the sophisticated livestock industries of South Africa, UK and Ireland where he has participated in several international livestock development events.
Dr. Beine is an accomplished administrator, Planner, and livestock development Expert with over 15 years of hands-on practice in both private and public sectors.
The National Animal Genetic Resources Centre and Data Bank (NAGRC&DB) was established by the Animal Breeding Act, 2001. It’s one of the statutory semi-autonomous bodies of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF).
The formation of NAGRC&DB was part of the fulfilment of the aspirations in the National Animal Breeding Policy (1997), document and the Action Plan for its implementation providing guidelines to all actors in the animal breeding and production value-chain.
Availing for sale semen, eggs, ova, embryos and associated equipment; management of farms for production, selection and sale of superior dams and sires; rearing of sire studs for production and sale of semen; production and sale of liquid nitrogen and associated equipment; production and sale of founder broodstock of fisheries resources; offer for sale properly bred stock through pathways such as open nucleus schemes, and procurement and sale of other breeding and reproduction equipment.
Serving as National Animal Genetic Data Bank; serving as National Central Livestock Registry; serving as the National Animal Genetic Resources Evaluation Centre and Laboratory; serving as a national gene depository and examination Centre for Genetic materials; quarantine and evaluation of imported genetic materials; offering specialized training to technicians dealing in animal breeding; training of staff and farmers in aspects of animal, poultry and fish breeding; collaboration in animal breeding and production environments research;
Encouraging the formation of breeder and breed organizations; providing guidance in breeding and multiplication of improved breeds; promotion of herd-recording, and performance testing on farms; promotion of natural mating especially in areas where Artificial insemination is not available; and as well developing breeding extension guidelines for farmers and extension workers.