Starting from the next fiscal year, farmers will be required to pay for the foot and mouth disease (FMD) vaccine, according to recent information obtained by New Vision Online.
During a parliamentary session on Thursday, February 8, 2024, Agriculture Minister Frank Tumwebaze disclosed this development in response to a query from Gomba West MP Robinah Rwakoojo, who urged the government to continue offering vaccines free of charge in the short term.
Minister Tumwebaze clarified that while the government directed his ministry to procure 10 million doses of the vaccine through a supplementary budget, these initial doses will be provided to farmers at no cost. However, he emphasized that farmers will be expected to cover the expenses once mandatory bi-annual livestock vaccination programs commence.
Furthermore, Tumwebaze emphasized the government’s decision to maintain its monopoly on importing FMD vaccines into Uganda. He justified this stance by asserting that opening up the market could pose risks to the safety and security of animals in the country.
The FMD outbreak, which has led to quarantine measures in 36 districts, including Isingiro, Kazo, Mbarara City, Mbarara district, Ntungamo, and Rwampara, underscores the urgency of vaccination efforts to control the spread of the disease.