Cattle farmers in Nyagatare District have welcomed with smiles the Ministry of Agriculture’s decision to lift the ban put on cattle movements and markets in Eastern Province.
In a meeting with central and local government authorities, Prime Minister, Dr. Pierre Damien Habumuremyi directed immediate action against livestock diseases following an assessment that revealed presence of foot and mouth disease outbreak commonly known as ‘Uburenge’ in Eastern Province.
In response, the Minister of agriculture, Dr. Agnes Kalibata announced that the ban would be lifted by the end of this month, after revealing an assessment showed there will be no more cases of foot and mouth disease among the livestock by the end of this month.
Speaking to different livestock farmers in Nyagatare district, most of them said they had been waiting for the lift of the ban in vain.
“I failed to raise the money to pay school fees for my three Children due to the Ministry’s ban against cattle movements and market. But now that the Ministry has announced to lift it (ban), we are happy for the new development since our economic base depend on livestock farming,” said Alex Ndushabandi, a farmer in Tabagwe sector.
Another farmer, John Rwabulindi said: “We can’t wait for the official announcement to allow us carryout cattle trade. We heard the Minister of Agriculture talking about the good news yesterday and we welcomed it in jubilation. I’m ready to sell my cows and fence my family.”
Fred Muhire, an official from Nyagatare Diary Farmers’ Union disclosed that lifting the ban was a welcome move after intense efforts by different stakeholders to contain the disease.
“It is a welcome move but we call upon farmers to be the first to track anyone trying to practice illegal movement of cattle. This has been discovered as the main source of spreading the disease,” he said.
Since end of last year, Eastern Province has been plagued by livestock diseases which essentially affected milk production and caused meat dearth especially in the districts of Nyagatare, Gatsibo and Kayonza.