Botswana, Uganda work on FMD vaccine President Museveni

Gaborone . – The Botswana Vaccine Institute (BVI) is set to collaborate with Ugandan scientists to develop a vaccine for foot and mouth disease (FMD), which has been endemic since 1953.

In January, because of FMD, Uganda enforced quarantines in 32 districts in the cattle corridor because of an outbreak first reported in November.

Now, there’s hope for a lasting solution, after Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Botswana’s Mokgweetsi Masisi met on the sidelines of the G77+ China Third South Summit in Kampala.

Since then, BVI scientists led by the institute’s technical director, Mokganedi Mokopasetso, have collected samples from the cattle affected by foot and mouth disease in three districts in the eastern part of the country.

BVI is working with Uganda’s National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO).

Ugandan Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Minister Frank Tumwebaze visited Museveni with the BVI scientists early this week.

The main indigenous cattle breeds in Uganda are the Ankole Longhorn, the Small East African Shorthorn Zebu, and the Nganda.

According to the country’s National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS), the national herd stands at 14.5 million, the most of which are Ankole.

The countries have plans around other commodities. Kampala wants Botswana to try its milk, and Museveni wants to give Botswana access to its maize stockpile, with surplus maize sold as animal feed.

Current trade between Uganda and Botswana is insignificant but more advantageous to the latter.

However, the two countries have since agreed to establish a joint commission for cooperation. –

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