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Kiruhura Farmers Blame Tick Resistance on Local Vets

Kiruhura district is among the districts in the cattle corridor of Ankole that is infested with resistant ticks that have claimed many cattle and made others blind because farmers have used fake drugs to fight ticks.
Cattle feeding on the dried up grass in Kiruhura District

Audio 5



Livestock farmers in Kiruhura district have accused veterinary officers of failing in their responsibilities and neglecting their call.

The farmers accuse especially the sub-county extension workers both crop and livestock for ignoring them, which has caused an increase in both banana bacteria wilt and tick resistance.

Kiruhura district is among the districts in the cattle corridor of Ankole that is infested with resistant ticks that have claimed many cattle and made others blind because farmers have used fake drugs to fight ticks. 

This has led to accusations and counter accusations between farmers and the National Drug Authority for failing to regulate acaricides while the Authority accuses farmers of not consulting experts.

Alex Rugo a dairy farmer in Kikatsi says the veterinary officers at sub-counties never respond to their calls accusing them of neglecting their responsibilities.

//Cue in: “tibakutihikamu nobwo kumuterera…//

Cue out: …kwesiga bariya bonka,”//

Ben Kabangira, another farmer says the officers ask them for money, between 20,000 and 30,000 shillings to attend to their challenges.

//Cue in: “kwonka twine problem…//

Cue out: …kureba ekizibu kitu,”//

Jessica Karungi Mwesigye faults the increasingly resistant tick on veterinary officers who have failed to sensitize them on how to either change the drug or how to mix the drugs.

//Cue in: “nobasa kushanga omuntu…//

Cue out: …mubiri eshuju nekunkumuka.”//

Dr Grace Asiimwe, the Kiruhura district veterinary officer says the biggest challenge with his department is the fewer workers compared to the livestock numbers.

He says Kiruhura district has a population of 380,000 head of cattle and 170,000 goats with a population of 30,000 households per sub-county noting that the ratio of animals to the number of extension workers at sub-county doesn’t match.

//Cue in: “there is a…//

Cue out: …does not come.”//

The DVO however says that they encourage their extension workers whenever they go out to give enough time to each farmer so that they can work out as many challenges that are at the farm as they can find.

//Cue in: “and whenever extension…//

Cue out: …and the ministry.”//

The vet adds that though each Sub County having an extension worker for both Crop and livestock they need at least two per sub-county to meet the demand.

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