Uganda and Botswana have embarked on a collaborative effort to tackle the longstanding issue of Foot and Mouth disease, a major concern for Uganda’s cattle industry.

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni met with Botswana scientists at State House, Entebbe, where plans for the partnership were unveiled. The meeting, attended by officials from Uganda’s Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, as well as the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation, signaled a significant step in addressing the disease.

The initiative stems from discussions between President Museveni and President Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi of Botswana during their bilateral meeting on January 22, at Speke Resort, Munyonyo. This collaboration underscores the commitment of both nations to enhance regional cooperation, as witnessed at the G77+ China Third South Summit.

Botswana Vaccine Institute scientists have already collected samples from affected cattle in Uganda’s cattle corridor and other regions and these samples will undergo testing at the Botswana Vaccine Institute, with the aim of developing a vaccine to mitigate the spread of Foot and Mouth disease.

President Museveni expressed his appreciation for the partnership and extended an invitation for Botswana companies to explore opportunities in Uganda’s agricultural sector, particularly in the production of animal feeds utilizing the surplus maize harvest.

Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, highlighted the collaborative effort between Botswana Vaccine Institute and Uganda’s National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) in developing a vaccine tailored for East Africa’s needs.

Additionally, efforts were made to promote trade between the two countries, with Uganda offering its high-quality milk to Botswana and emphasizing its origin from non-affected areas.

Mr. Andrew Madeswi, CEO of Botswana Vaccine Institute, confirmed the successful collection of samples and outlined the timeline for analyzing the data, with the final report expected by March 29, 2024.

Technical Director of Botswana Vaccine Institute, Mr. Mokganedi Mokopasetso, provided insights into the sampling process, which covered various districts and farms in Uganda, affirming the mission’s success.

The meeting also saw the participation of key government officials from both countries, reflecting the importance of cross-border collaboration in addressing regional challenges.

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