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HomeNewsBotswana Scientists Pick Foot and Mouth Disease Samples from Uganda Cattle Corridor 

Botswana Scientists Pick Foot and Mouth Disease Samples from Uganda Cattle Corridor 

Botswana Vaccine Institute is set to help Uganda find a lasting solution to Foot and Mouth disease which has been a big challenge to the cattle industry in the country. 

This was revealed on Monday in the meeting between President Museveni and Botswana scientists at State House, Entebbe. 

The meeting was also attended by officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

The engagement was a follow up on the bilateral meeting between President Museveni and President Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi of Botswana on 22nd January, 2024 at Speke Resort, Munyonyo, on the sidelines of G77+ China Third South Summit. 

Uganda’s State House said Botswana Vaccine Institute scientists have since collected samples from the cattle affected by foot and mouth disease in the cattle corridor and other parts of Uganda affected by the disease. 

These samples will be taken to Botswana Vaccine Institute to find a vaccine that will help prevent the infection. 

Uganda’s Ministry of Agriculture recently imposed a quarantine on 32 districts across the country following the new outbreak of FMD, triggering panic and anger in the cattle corridor where millions of people earn a living from milk and beef production.

The affected districts include; Luwero, Gomba, Isingiro, Kazo, Kiruhura, and Sembabule among others where the disease has been detected in many herds.

Uganda’s total susceptible animal herd that requires FMD vaccination as per current estimate is 44 million.

Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, informed the President that scientists from Botswana Vaccine Institute agreed to partner with the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO), to develop a vaccine to combat foot and mouth disease in Uganda. 

“In our discussions, they agreed to the idea that they can partner with us- NARO, to develop their kind vaccine. They are now serving Southern Africa, so they believe they can also help us to produce for East Africa,” Hon. Tumwebaze said. 

Hon. Tumwebaze also said that they convinced the delegation from Botswana to also buy milk from Uganda, explaining that it is of high quality, and it is not from the affected areas where there is foot and mouth Disease.

Mr. Andrew Madeswi, the CEO- Botswana Vaccine Institute said that the mission of collecting samples has been achieved and the next step is testing the samples, and the final findings of the report will be out on 29th March, 2024.

Botswana Vaccine Institute CEO Andrew Modewsi making his remarks while meeting President Yoweri Museveni at the State House Entebbe on the 19th February 2024 (Photos by PPU/Tony Rujuta).

The Technical Director of Botswana Vaccine Institute, Mr. Mokganedi Mokopasetso said that while collecting samples, they visited three districts in the western part of the country, three districts in the Eastern part of the country and they were also able to visit some sub-counties where they visited farms, and they were convinced that their mission was successful. 

President Museveni welcomed the Scientists from Botswana and agreed to the partnership to develop a vaccine for the disease in Uganda. 

“The other time, I also discussed with H.E Mokgweetsi about animal feeds, if the Botswana companies could come here because we have a lot of maize. For instance, the other year we produced five million tonnes but we consumed one million tonnes internally, so if there are companies which want animal feeds for local consumption and also for export back to Botswana, they are welcome,” President Museveni said. 

The meeting was also attended by Hon. Dr. Monica Musenero, the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Hon.  Judith Nabakooba, the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Hon. Bright Rwamirama, Minister of State for Animal Industry, Ambassador Paul Amoru, High Commissioner of Uganda to South Africa, Maj Gen. David Kyomukama Kasura, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, among others.

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