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Uganda, Botswana agree to manufacture foot and mouth disease vaccine

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Simon Kabayo
Simon Kabayohttps://eagle.co.ug
Reporter whose work is detailed

Botswana Vaccine Institute has committed to help Uganda manufacture Foot and Mouth disease vaccine in order to boost the cattle industry in the country.

This was revealed today in the meeting between President Yoweri Kaguta 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 January 22, 2024 at Speke Resort, Munyonyo, on the sidelines of G77+ China Third South Summit.

Botswana Vaccine Institute scientists have since corrected samples from the cattle affected by foot and mouth disease in the cattle corridor and other parts of the country affected by the disease. These samples will be taken to Botswana Vaccine Institute to find a vaccine that will help prevent the infection.

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.

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,” Tumwebaze said.

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 March 29, 2024.

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.

The meeting was also attended by Dr. Monica Musenero, the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Judith Nabakooba, the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, 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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