By Andrew Irumba
Kampala: Newly-appointed Minister of Agriculture, Frank Kagyigyi Tumwebaze has announced he is to start on the deadly foot and mouth disease (FMD) that has since affected cattle farmers mostly in the western part of Uganda in his 1st 100 days in office.
Foot-and-mouth disease is endemic in Uganda with control strategies focusing on vaccination of cattle. Passionate about Agriculture sector naturally, Minister Tumwebaze said ever since he learnt of the new appointment, he has received unlimited engagements from pastoral farmers all crying over the notorious FMD.
”Since the cabinet announcement, I have been having intense conversations with many people ( in my inbox, WhatsApp, email & voice Calls) all raising concerns mainly about FMD,” he said.
..I take office, i shall cause a stakeholders dialogue & we candidly talk about these issues. My conviction is that all those issues can be fixed if we all cooperate. If all stakeholders can define the problem correctly & appreciate it in the same way then solutions will be got..
— Frank K Tumwebaze,MP : Psalms 124 : 1-8 (@FrankTumwebazek) June 11, 2021
He further said others have drawn his attention to the efficacy/potency of acaricides & quality seeds on the market that have seen most farmers making huge losses at the end of the seasonal harvests.
Therefore, in a bid to curb the above challenges among others in the agriculture sector, the Minister promised that when he officially takes office, he will cause a stakeholders’ dialogue and get permanent solutions to the problem. Tumwebaze said he will do that because be knows the importance of the sector he has been given to society. “We must fix such barriers in the sector because it’s considered to be the back born of Uganda, which is true,” he said.
”..I take office, I shall cause a stakeholders dialogue & we candidly talk about these issues. My conviction is that all those issues can be fixed if we all cooperate. If all stakeholders can define the problem correctly & appreciate it in the same way then solutions will be got,” the Minister noted.
Tumwebaze’s commitment to end the disease comes after earlier February 2021, the Government imposed a quarantine on five districts in southwestern Uganda following the new outbreak of the disease. The affected districts are Gomba, Isingiro, Kazo, Kiruhura and Sembabule where the disease has been detected in many herds.
Movement on livestock and livestock products into and out of these districts or through to other districts was immediately banned. Restrictions on the movement of livestock were also imposed on another 24 districts, including Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono, which are named among the areas at a high risk of an outbreak.
The others include Kalungu, Kiboga, Kiryandongo, Kyankwanzi, Kyotera, Koboko, Mbarara, Lyantonde, Masindi, Nakaseke, Rakai, Nakasongola and Rubirizi. At-risk districts are those bordering national parks as well as those along the transit routes used by livestock traders and exporters.