Kiruhura: NAGRC Boss asks UPDF to protect Nshaara Ranch from land grabbers

MBARARA, March 28, 2024 – The National Animal Genetic Resources Centre and Data Bank [NAGRC & DB] Executive Director, Peter Beine has asked for military manpower to protect Nshaara Ranch from being grabbed.

The 27-square mile Nshaara Ranch located in Sanga, Kiruhura district is the national conservancy for the much-cherished Ankole long-horned cattle.

In a letter seen by this website, dated February 8, 2024, Dr. Beine wrote to the Deputy Commander of UPDF’s 2nd Division in Mbarara, Col. Paul Muhanguzi, seeking for security to protect the said ranch from encroachers.

“The purpose of this letter is to request for 10 armed soldiers to guard and patrol the government vital facilities and installations on Nshaara Ranch” reads part of the letter.

According to Beine, the ranch is faced with extreme insecurity arising from invading encroachers and forceful herdsmen who have not only disorganised the breeding and conservation programmes by bringing in inappropriate breeds but also stealing the fencing materials like poles, barbed wire, chain links among others.

“Recently they stole 87 chain links along the Akageti stretch in Kiruhura, burnt 205 acres of our hay gardens at the start of the dry season, and have been continuously stealing several heads of cattle,” he explained, adding that the encroachers have frustrated “our fencing programs by continuously stealing our fencing materials at night.”

“As per presidential directives ref. PO/04 dated 14th July 2022 and another Ref. PO/10 dated 26th June 2023, the National Animal Genetic Resources Centre and Data Bank [NAGRC & DB] has been producing animal feed on three chain-link fenced square miles of the ranch which are now being vandalised,” Beine explained.

NAGRC & DB Executive Director Pete Beine (Internet photo).

To the directors’ disappointment, the security operatives have since never acted which poses risk to governments being grabbed, thus appealing to the possible authorities to act immediately, he said.

However, a  UPDF officer at 2nd Division Division said the army’s role is to compliment Uganda Police when it comes to such matters, and not to enforce.

“Being a government land, police have to be in the lead, they should have been given a copy because for us as UPDF, we just try to reinforce the police especially when it comes to civil issues. So I would advise, that the RDC should sit with the DPC and then they formulate the way forward”

He said: For us we cannot refuse to attach our personnel there but being a government farm, the district security leaders should be in the know.”

“The RDC and DPC should harmonise with our leaders to see that the matter is handled but for us we can’t just bring the force on ground without working together with that security team,” he said adding that, if a civilian comes and steals animals from the government ranch, police has to be in the lead in securing the ranch,” he explained

Meanwhile, UPDF’s Rtd.Capt. David Bashaija has already grabbed part of that government’s ranch in Sanga and divided it into plots for sale.

This has forced the Ministry of Agriculture to write to the Head of State House Anti Corruption Unit, Brig Gen. Henry Isoke, to investigate  Bashaija for illegally grabbing part of the government’s ranch.

According to Beine, the increased grabbing of government ranches will undermine the government’s efforts to improve the quality of livestock breeds.

The livestock sector accounts for about 17 percent of Uganda’s agricultural value chain and 4.3 percent of Uganda’s GDP.


Nshara Ranch is a regional animal feed reserve and preservation training centre with extensive storage for hay and silage for dry season feeding, zero grazing feeding and supplementary feeding for dairy and beef value chains.

The ranch was also established to work as a livestock breeding and multiplication centre for both highly productive and farmer preferred dairy and beef cattle which are accessed by farmers at subsidised prices.

Currently, it has close to 5,000 cattle, the largest number ever recorded in the history of the ranch. The farm also hosts a conservancy for indigenous Mubende and Kigezi goat breeds.

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