Home Agriculture Minister Tumwebaze Optimistic As NARO Anti-Tick Vaccine Advance to Field Trials

Minister Tumwebaze Optimistic As NARO Anti-Tick Vaccine Advance to Field Trials


Hon. Frank Tumwebaze the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries has expressed optimism that Uganda’s livestock sector will blossom after the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO)’s developed Anti-Tick Vaccine reaching the field trials level.

Tumwebaze said that livestock farmers will cry no more because the vaccines will reduce their expenditures on cattle diseases.

Farmers, he said will also be saved on the psychological torture which results from losing their animals.

“88% efficacy, this is good to go,” he sad 

“Our farmers have been spending a lot on spraying tick, twice a week, and this has for years led to reduction in yields,” he said 

“Farmers have been spraying arcaricides twice a week, but these vaccines will reduce to twice a month, this will save them from over spending, hence easy breakthrough,” he added.

Hon Frank Tumwebaze the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (extreme left) launching the field trials of NARO Anti-Tick Vaccine in Mbarara on Thursday

The Minister made these remarks, while launching the NARO Anti-Tick Vaccine multi-location filed trials at Mbarara Zonal Agriculture Research and Development Institute (MbaZARDI) on Thursday.

The candidate vaccines which include; NARO RA, NARO AV, NARO CA and NARO RD, passed the initial test stages including; laboratory tests, proof of concept, on station trials administered both orally and intramuscular injection.

Tumwebaze appreciated scientists at NARO for developing research which directly link to farmers.

“What is the link between research and farm and farmer?  This is the question I have always been asked at parliament,  in the communities how does the research link to the farmers this has always been the question,” he said 

“You should produce products that are available to the times and unable to respond to the challenges,” he added.

Tick Borne Diseases (TBF) is responsible for a significant economic losses to farmers, through debility, direct mortality, morbidity, loss of milk and control costs in purchase of acaricides, chemotherapy and vaccination.

Tumwebaze with his colleague Ministers and other officials during the launch

In Uganda, the TBD losses are estimated to $1.1Bn through calf mortality (30% of calf dies), farm disease prevention and control farm inputs  and loss of milk amount to $187m losses, meat production $472m, blood loss $26m among others.

Speaking at the launch, Yona Baguma who representaed DR. Ambrose Agona the Director General of NARO said that the field launch is as a result of efforts by NARO scientists towards developing a lasting solution to the tick challenge which he said has caused substantial economic losses to livestock farmers.

“As part of the Intergrated control programs, anti-tick vaccines promise an environmentally sound, and effective intervention for the control of tick infestation and of Tick Borne Pathogens (TBPs),”  he said 

“The antigens used are immunologically active tick proteins that stimulates antibody production once inoculated into a vertebrate host. Protection is achieved when specific antibodies are produced by immunised hosts and when ingested by attaching ticks, they disable tick feeding, growth, reproduction and general tick fitness,” 

According to Dr. Agona, the development of the vaccines kicked off in 2014 and have always fully been supported by government and other partners.

“After passing the initial tests pre-qualification, Dr. Agona said that the vaccines now proceed for final geographical trial.

“Upon successful conclusion of this trial, results will be assessed for quality standardization which makes the vaccines safe for public use,” 

The same trials will also be conducted in; Uganda Prison Farm Isimba, Uganda Prison Farm Kiburara, Maruzi Livestock Reseay Centre, Nabuin ZARDI in Masindi Ibanda, Aoac and Nabilatuk.

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