The honorable Frank Tumwebaze, minister of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), visited NARO’s National Livestock Resources Research Institute (NaLIRRI), Nakyesasa, Wakiso district on the 16th of September 2022.
He was accompanied by Hon. Fred Kyakulaga Bwiino, the Minister of State for Agriculture, together with the commissioners of Livestock and Fisheries (Ademun and Okanya). The team was received by Dr. Ambrose Agona, DG NARO, together with the top management team.
Hon. Tumwebaze was then given a guided tour of the institute facilities that included the embryo transfer facility, the livestock production feed mill, pasture conservation area, the aflasafe production unit, and the dairy zero-waste unit.
In his remarks, Honorable Frank appreciated the scientists for all their work, thanked NARO for remaining committed to the research agenda of the country, and pledged his support to the research work being done.
Being a center of knowledge, he implored NARO to start a program for intern graduates where the cream of science students from universities is picked so as to retain the best brains. He congratulated the team on the developments so far made on the anti-tick vaccine, saying this was an achievement that he could not celebrate alone. He promised to invite the entire cabinet and the president to officiate at the launch of the final multi-location trials. “This is great news for the farmers,” he said.
According to Dr Ambrose Agona, the anti-trick vaccines have shown an 88% efficacy and the final stage will take one year and will be in different regions across the country; Mbarara ZARDI, Kiburura prison farms, Isimba prison farms. Maruzi in Apac and Nabuin ZARI in Nabilatuk district. The vaccines come in two forms: injectable and oral.
The director, NaLIRRI-dr Swidik Mugerwa, says Uganda loses over 3 trillion shillings annually due to ticks and tick-borne diseases. In order to address these issues and save farmers from economic losses, NARO came up with the anti-tick vaccine as a solution. This vaccine was developed in order to stimulate immunity in livestock against ticks. He commissioned the fodder production unit-aero phonics and planted a tree to commemorate this visit being his first visit since his appointment as minister of MAAIF.