The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has donated vaccines and equipment valued at over US$1 million to combat animal diseases in the Karamoja region. The donation includes 300,000 doses of Foot and Mouth Disease vaccines for cattle and other large ruminants, 140,000 doses for small ruminants, and an additional 200,000 doses for lung disease in small ruminants.  

It also includes reagents and toolkits for laboratory use to aid in the early detection of outbreaks, which field officers can promptly report to the ministry. Dr. Antonio Querido, the FAO country representative, officially handed over this donation to Maj Bright Rwamirama, the Minister of State for Animal Husbandry, at the National Animal Disease Diagnostics and Epidemiology Center (NADDEC) in Entebbe. 

Querido emphasized that this donation holds great significance for the livestock sector, particularly in Karamoja. It aims to enhance the region’s capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to disease outbreaks, benefiting not only Karamoja but the entire country. Karamoja is designated as a flashpoint by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries (MAAIF) due to its nomadic population and porous international borders that facilitate the transmission of diseases. 

Querido acknowledged that the European Union (EU), in collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP) and other agencies, had provided the funding to make this donation possible. He highlighted the immense potential of the Ugandan livestock sector, emphasizing the importance of its sustained and sustainable development. 

Minister Rwamirama expressed his commitment to personally oversee the vaccination exercise in Karamoja next month as part of the effort to protect the national herd. He emphasized the importance of regional cooperation in controlling livestock diseases, as cross-border movements are common among herding communities.     

Uganda recently signed a livestock disease control agreement with Tanzania, following a similar agreement with Kenya. Minister Rwamirama indicated that a similar agreement would be signed with South Sudan.                      

Animal diseases such as Foot and Mouth Disease and lung-related illnesses have been a hindrance to the growth of the livestock sector in Karamoja. However, Uganda’s livestock potential remains strong and competitive in the region, with the country expected to reach a peak of 4 million liters of processed milk per day in the next two months. Rwamirama also mentioned that a Cabinet paper has been prepared to address animal health issues that have previously affected beef production.      

He extended his appreciation to FAO and other partners for their support to the sector.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *