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New Vision
HIV: Farmers Seek State Aid --Want ban on beef imports from EU

March 20, 2001
CHEBET Maikut, the Uganda National Farmers Association (UNFA) president, has proposed that the Government sets up a fund to help farmers with HIV/AIDS afford the drugs, reports Kikonyogo Ngatya.

"Some of our colleagues in the service sector are being helped in meeting the costs of the expensive drugs.

"We would also like the Government to establish a fund to subsidise the costs for farmers," he said.

Maikut, also Kween County Member of Parliament, was on Saturday addressing a news conference in Kampala.

He said the Government should strengthen the ban on beef imports from Britain and other EU countries, following an outbreak of the foot-and-mouth disease there. He said the disease was a threat to the the livestock industry.

Uganda has about 6.5 million head of cattle.

Several animals have been slaughtered in Britain in the wake of the disease outbreak.

The foot-and-mouth disease is a viral infection that affects the hoof and mouth of cattle, sheep and pigs. Saliva drools continuously out of the affected animal which develops numerous blisters in the mouth. This makes the animal unable to graze.

The hooves of the infected animal develop wounds and the discharge from the feet and mouth contain the virus which can infect another animal if it grazes on contaminated grass.

Maikut also said the Government should step up a crack down campaign on traders selling fake seeds to farmers.

"At the beginning of this planting season, the Government should step up a campaign to prevent our farmers from being victimised by these traders," he said.

Maikut also congratulated President Yoweri Museveni, the UNFA patron, upon his re-election in the March 12 elections.