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FAO, EU partner with government to strengthen Zimbabwe’s livestock sector regulations and strategies to improve production and productivity

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FAO, EU partner with government to strengthen Zimbabwe’s livestock sector regulations and strategies to improve production and productivity

The project developed three new priority regulations under the Animal Health Act and revised four existing regulations

ROME, Italy, October 13, 2021 / APO Group / –

Zimbabwe’s livestock sector stakeholders have come together to review and validate the national tick-borne disease control strategy and animal health regulations. The three-day stakeholder validation workshop was held in Bulawayo from October 5-7, 2021. The workshop brought together over 50 representatives of all key stakeholders in the livestock sector in the southern region of the region. public and private sector to express their views for inclusion in three livestock disease management policy documents to be forwarded to the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development ( MoLAFWRD) for consideration and adoption.

In Zimbabwe, the livestock sector is well positioned to play a key role in the current national inclusive transformation agenda towards achieving Vision 2030. About 90 percent of the national herd is owned by the communal smallholder sector, but the growth of the sector is currently being stifled. by the high prevalence of a variety of diseases in livestock, especially tick-borne diseases and are facing serious threats from emerging diseases such as highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). The presence of these diseases and the perceived risk of emerging diseases that have the potential to decimate the sector have become a major stumbling block for entry into local, regional and international markets, hence the need for better regulation of the sector for better animal health and food safety.

The Transforming Zimbabwe Animal Health and Food Safety Systems for the Future (SAFE) project is implemented by FAO and GoZ under the Zimbabwe Agricultural Growth Program (ZAGP) funded by the ‘European Union (EU). The project developed three new priority regulations under the Animal Health Law and revised four existing regulations that were identified as essential to facilitate the upgrading of livestock in the smallholder sector and facilitate market entry ” , said Basil Mugweni, SAFE Project Manager in a keynote address speaking on behalf of Patrice Talla, FAO Sub-Regional Coordinator for Southern Africa and Representative in Zimbabwe.

“The project also developed a tick-borne disease control strategy designed to contain the current outbreak of tick-borne diseases which has been on the rise for about three years and has wiped out household herds in parts of the country. . The tick-borne epidemic deprives many small farmers of their main source of livelihood and their main source of energy in times of drought for agricultural production, ”Mugweni added.

In 2019, FAO received an EU grant to implement the SAFE project under ZAGP. The overall goal of the SAFE project is to transform these systems to improve livestock productivity, food and consumer safety, and market access. To achieve this objective, the project supports the formulation and updating of national strategies and regulations for the creation of an environment conducive to animal production.

Under ZAGP, the SAFE project is also creating functional multi-stakeholder platforms for coordination, collaboration, advocacy and support for effective revenue generation and use by regulatory bodies such as the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS ). The project is currently collaborating with DVS and AGRITEX to establish a functional forum of livestock enterprises in order to strengthen the organization and coordination of value chain actors.

The workshop also saw the launch of the Livestock Business Forum (LBF), Southern region chapter, which is also a deliverable of the SAFE project. The LBF is a grassroots discussion platform established by the project and intended to facilitate grassroots policy advocacy and channel views to policy makers. The LBF is also intended to facilitate community ownership of policy documents and to facilitate implementation and compliance.

The workshop was the first of two stakeholder validation workshops to present these important policy documents to key stakeholders in the southern region of the country covering the provinces of North and South Matabeleland, Masvingo and Midlands, in order to gather their views. before they are finalized for adoption and implementation. The second validation workshop will be held in Harare from October 19-21, 2021 to cover stakeholders from the other four provinces of Mash East, Mash West, Mash Central and Manicaland.

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