AGRIBUSINESS

Cattle corridor farmers receive Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccines

Agriculture Minister Frank Tumwebaze hands over 903,200 FMD vaccine doses to DVOs to vaccinate the susceptible animals in their Districts (PHOTO/Courtesy).

Agriculture Minister Frank Tumwebaze hands over 903,200 FMD vaccine doses to DVOs to vaccinate the susceptible animals in their Districts (PHOTO/Courtesy).

The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) has handed over nine hundred thirty thousand and two hundred (930,200) doses of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) Vaccines worth UGX7,090,914,600/= to twenty-two (22) districts in the Cattle Corridor.

In 2021, Government of Uganda approved the implementation of the NDPIII adopting the Agriculture Value Chain Development Strategy.

The strategy prioritizes access to quality seed and stocking materials, disease control, mechanization and water for production, farmer education, support to large scale farmers as lead farmers and affirmative support to fisheries subsector through the promotion of the aquaculture.

As the livestock industry booms, contributing 7% to the National GDP, government has undertaken deliberate precautionary measures that will ensure that Ugandan livestock products are safe for both domestic and export markets.

Among these is a keen emphasis on Animal Disease Control for which MAAIF has adopted a number of measures.

The Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Frank Tumwebaze, applauded the Animal Health Department for their successful control of the Foot and Mouth Disease in 50% of the earlier reported districts.

“Government is investing whatever it can to ensure that your crops, animals and fish resources are safe, all we need and ask from you as farmers is compliance and discipline,” Tumwebaze said.

He further added that there are many diseases that don’t have vaccines but luckily enough FMD is treatable and that’s why government through the ministry is encouraging vaccination against FMD to aggressively kick FMD out of Uganda.

“When you vaccinate before you get the disease, you create immunity,” Tumwebaze said.

Adding that MAAIF is eradicating FMD in the country through regular vaccination and that the Ministry is soon embarking on a more radical measure where vaccination is going to be mandatory.

“Today, we are dispatching doses to the following districts as follows: 40,000 doses to Isingiro, Mpigi-5000, Ntungamo-20000, Luwero-8000, Kayunga- 10,000, Mubende-10,000.

Last week, Friday the Commissioner for Animal Health dispatched to Katakwi-30,000, Bukedea-25000, Bugiri-10,000, Rakai-20000, Kyotera-15000, Kiruhura-35000, Kween-15000, Mbale-8000, Bulambuli-20,000, Kapchorwa-10000, Nakapiripiriti-15000.”

The minister emphasized to the District Veterinary Officers present that sending vaccines to these areas doesn’t mean that they have FMD but that it was a preventive measure for FMD.

“I am pleased to inform Ugandans that FMD has been successfully managed in eleven of the earlier reported twenty-two districts. And with these vaccines, we will be able to adopt the ring vaccination strategy of precautionary management of the disease. This will go a long way to protect our dairy subsector that is currently estimated at 3 billion liters per annum,” Tumwebaze said.

He further cautioned District Veterinary Officers from imposing illegal charges for vaccination to the farmers, “this business of charging poor farmers for vaccines that are already paid for by tax payers money must stop if it hasn’t. I implore farmers to be vigilant and report any such incidents to the enforcement agencies to enable us track and weed such culprits form our system.”

The District Veterinary Officer, Mpigi District, Dr. Daniel Kasibule, who was speaking on behalf of the District Veterinary Officers that received their vaccines this afternoon appreciated the government for the timely intervention geared towards launching Ugandan livestock farmers into external markets.

“Riding on the implementation wave of the Parish Development Model, this will give livestock farmers a strong foundation that will enable them compete favorably in the regional and international markets,” Dr. Kasibulue said.

The Commissioner Animal Health who is also Uganda’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Anna Rose Okurut Ademun, committed to a timely and ethical delivery of these vaccines to the grass-root farmers by the District Veterinary Officers.

“I implore my fellow veterinary officers to do our work well. It is what will boost Uganda’s access to lucrative dairy markets and eventually Kick out Foot and Mouth Disease from Uganda,” Dr. Ademun said.

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