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Zimbabwe fortifies war against livestock disease

Zimbabwe fortifies war against livestock disease

from NDABENI MLOTSHWA in Bulawayo
BULAWAYO, (CAJ News) ZIMBABWE is strengthening its livestock sector regulations and strategies to avert diseases as well as improve production and efficiency.

This is in light of the sector positioned to take a key role in the current national inclusive transformation agenda towards attainment of government’s vision 2030.

Livestock sector players have met in the second city, Bulawayo, to review and validate the national tick borne diseases control strategy and animal health regulations.

More than 50 representatives of all key stakeholders in the southern region livestock sector from the public and private sectors expressed their views for inclusion in three livestock disease management policy documents.

These will be forwarded to the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development (MoLAFWRD) for consideration and adoption.

The government and Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) are implementing the Transforming Zimbabwe’s Animal Health and Food Safety Systems for the Future Project (SAFE) as part of the European Union (EU) funded Zimbabwe Agricultural Growth Programme (ZAGP).

The project has developed three new regulations prioritised under the animal health act and revised four existing regulations that have been identified to be key in facilitating and unlocking the value of livestock in the smallholder sector and facilitate market entry.

Basil Mugweni, SAFE Project Manager, explained this in a keynote address.

He was speaking on behalf of Patrice Talla, FAO Sub-regional Coordinator for Southern Africa and Representative to Zimbabwe.

The project has also developed a tick-borne disease control strategy designed to tame the current spike in these diseases.

They have been on an increase for the past three years and wiped household herds in some parts of the country.

“The tick-borne epidemic is depriving many small holder farmers of their major source of livelihood and major source of drought power for crop production,” Mugweni added.

Emerging diseases such as Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) are also a threat.

About 90 percent of Zimbabwe’s herd is held by the small holder communal sector.

– CAJ News

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