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Home News ‘Budget Cuts Will Stifle Anti-tick Vaccine Production’

‘Budget Cuts Will Stifle Anti-tick Vaccine Production’

by Jacquiline Nakandi
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By Prossy Nandudu

The proposed budget cuts on the NARO vote by the finance ministry will affect anti-tick vaccine production, the entity’s chief has said.

According to National Crop Resources Research Institute director general Dr Yona Baguma, there are reports that the finance ministry has reduced NARO’s budget by shillings 60.57 billion in the financial year 2024/25. 

Baguma says if the move is effected, the installed machinery to produce the anti-tick vaccine will be rendered idle, as there will be no fees to maintain the raw materials, the staff, as well as the machinery being installed now.

Production of anti-tick vaccine is expected to kick off at the end of this April of which the first doses can be released mid-July and by January 2025, the facility will be producing 12 million doses annually to cater for the vaccination of livestock against ticks.

Baguma added that after the problem has been contained, the surplus will be sold to neighbouring countries, and that will be another income-generating avenue for NARO.

He made the appeal on Monday, April 8, 2024, while meeting Members of Parliament on the House agriculture committee who were touring NARO research institutes in Mukono and Wakiso districts.

While touring the facilities, MPs wanted to know if the vaccine does not affect animal products such as beef and milk after learning that when an animal is vaccinated, any tick that bites it dies.

They also wanted assurance as to whether NARO will not make it expensive for farmers to buy the vaccines since they have a plan for selling the vaccines abroad.

In response, Dr Moses Dhikusooka, a senior research scientist working on the vaccine programme, said the price will be affordable, adding that a dose will go for between shillings 5,000 and 8,000 and that the vaccination is done twice a year, a farmer will not spend more than sh20,000 per head of cattle.

In terms of safety, he said efficacy and safety trials have been ongoing in the last 12 months and these have proved that the vaccine doesn’t compromise the safety or quality of animal products.

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