Dr Peter Beine, the new executive director of the National Animal Genetics Resources Centre and DataBank (NAGRC&DB), has promised to turn it around into a model government agency.
This follows his appointment in substantive capacity by Agriculture minister Frank Tumwebaze on September 2, upon the recommendation from the NAGRC&DB board of directors and the Attorney General.
Dr Beine says the minister provided him with policy performance targets in accordance to the Agro-Industrialization Program Implementation Action of the National Development Plan III.
These targets include turning centre farms into knowledge transfer centres to farmers and general private sector actors, reducing the animal import bill to zero as well as developing a licensing and regulatory framework for animal breeders.
Others targets include breeding sufficient numbers of breeding stock on all its center farms and ranches, effective conservation of all indigenous animal genetic resources and to produce safe animal feed enough to meet its internal organizational needs.
“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,” he said upon receiving the news of his appointment.
In his remarks, 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.
“During my visit of the cattle corridor and in eastern Uganda, 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,” the minister said.
WHO IS BEINE?
In the one year he has been NAGRC&DB acting executive director, Dr Beine is credited with restoring sanity and improving the image of the agency.
His tenure at NAGRC&DB has seen an unprecedented increase of non-tax-revenue collections from Shs 700m to Shs 3.88 billion within just seven months. He has also spearheaded the revival of government ranches and farms as well as creating conservation programs for indigenous local breeds.
On that background, Dr Beine has already exhibited competence. He also brings a wealth of management and administration experience to NAGRC&DB, having worked as a research scientist and manager with the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) and has extensive experience in international agricultural development project management with the World Bank.