The Ministry of Agriculture, Animals Industry & Fisheries (MAAIF) has halted the distribution of livestock vaccines to farmers by both private suppliers and veterinary doctors.
In the recent past, the livestock sector has been hit by ticks and diseases such as Foot and Mouth that have been very resistant to vaccines. This has led to an escalating influx of counterfeit agro-inputs including pesticides, acaricides, fertilisers, seeds, vaccines among others onto the market by both certified and uncertified suppliers which is directly affecting the national economy.
While addressing journalists on Thursday, Agriculture minister Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja said due to the increasing cases of Tick Resistance and Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), many farmers have fallen victims to buying fake pesticides.
“As one way of protecting our farmers, the Ministry has stopped distribution of vaccine to the Farmers with immediate effect and the Ministry’s Cold Room has been cordoned off by the Police,” he said at Uganda Media Centre, adding that the Ministry has reported the counterfeits matter to the law enforcement agencies who are working together to bring this matter before the courts.
Ssempijja also promised that next week pure vaccines will be delivered to those all farmers who have been conned with fake vaccines.
“The Government has made arrangements to directly buy the vaccines from the manufacturers. We are developing a traceability system of all the agro-inputs from the factory to the farmers among other initiatives,” he added.
Ssempijja appealed to the general public to join him in the fight against the counterfeits which are directly affecting the country’s economy.
“MAAIF reiterates its commitment in this fight against counterfeits which is synonymous to fighting economic sabotage given the fact that Uganda is an agrarian economy,” Ssempijja noted.
This is not the first time agriculture sector has been hit by counterfeits. In April this year, counterfeit fertilisers and seeds were seized by the Agriculture Police together with the MAAIF Enforcement Team in Masaka region. Four different types of Fertilisers (NPK, CAN, SSP& DAP) and 83 Metric Tons of expired Seeds were impounded.
The matter was handed over to the Uganda Police Force and the suspects were been apprehended.