300 stakeholders study how to grow artemisia

OVER 300 stakeholders in Kabarole district recently attended a field day study on artermisia farming. Artemisinin, a chemical extracted from the plant artemisia aimua, is a key ingredient in artemether and lumenfantrine, a drug combination that the WHO and the Ministry of Health, recently recommended as the first line of treatment for uncomplicated malaria.

Based on a recent research about the efficacy of malaria treatments, the Ministry of Health has decided to “change the policy on malaria treatment from Chloroquie plus Sulfadoxine/Pyrimethami-ne combination to Artemisinin-based Combination Therapies (ACTs).”

The field day was organised by the Kyembogo DATIC (District Agricultural Training and Information Centre) with support from the Agricultural Sector Programme Support (ASPS), a division of Danida, to educate farmers on how to grow the crop locally.

Representatives from East Africa Botannicals Limited were present to explain to the farmers about the emergence of a new growing market for artemisia as a result of the WHO policy shift.

East Africa Botannicals has a five-year contract to supply artemisinin to the WHO, and is looking to contract farmers in western Uganda to grow the drug. East African Botannicals will sell artemisia seeds and provide extension services to the farmers it contracts with to help them maximise yields.

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