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Transforming Africa’s livestock sector is key to food security-Report

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| THE INDEPENDENT | Africa will be unable to meet demand for meat and milk by 2050 and benefit from growth in the livestock sector unless countries adopt new policies and innovations, according to a new report.

Meat consumption per capita across Africa is expected to increase from 19kg a year to 26kg a year by 2050 while demand for milk is likely to increase from 44kg per person per year to 64kg.

But while Africa’s livestock sector accounts for as much as 80 per cent of agricultural GDP in some countries, on current projections, the continent is likely to need to import 20 per cent of the beef, pork, poultry and milk needed by an estimated population of 2.2 billion in 2050.

Agricultural experts at the Malabo Montpellier Panel analyzed lessons from four African countries that have sustainably grown their domestic livestock sectors to provide recommendations for unlocking the economic potential of animal agriculture and becoming self-sufficient.

“With rising incomes and urbanization quickly shifting dietary habits across Africa towards increased meat consumption, the livestock sector will play a crucial role in ensuring food and nutrition security and fostering economic growth in the years ahead,” said Ousmane Badiane, co-chair of the Malabo Montpellier Panel.

“In this new report, we review the policy and institutional innovations that can strengthen Africa’s livestock sector and provide a major opportunity to boost economic growth, improve livelihoods and advance progress towards development targets.”

The Panel highlighted options for promoting sustainable growth in the livestock sector, drawing on the experiences of Uganda, Ethiopia, Mali and South Africa in terms of institutional and policy innovation as well as programmatic interventions.

For example, Uganda was found to have bolstered its dairy sector to maintain self-sufficiency in milk through dedicated policies, including the Dairy Master Plan, which involved restructuring and privatizing the state-owned dairy processing company Dairy Corporation.

In Ethiopia, the livestock sector was made a national priority with its own government department when the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries was established in 2013, while the Ministry of Agriculture coordinated a Livestock Master Plan, covering livestock production and fisheries, veterinary services, and pastoral development. Carefully adapted policies for pastoralist and non-pastoralist producers and an integrated approach to building capacity in animal health, research, and marketing attracted significant investment both from the private sector and development partners, further ensuring that the sector thrives.

Surge in incomes

“The expansion of Africa’s livestock sector will create new opportunities for the continent’s rural populations, especially women,” said Noble Banadda, Panel member and Professor and Chair of the Department of Agricultural and Bio Systems Engineering at Makerere University.

“For example, households in Uganda saw their dairy income rise by more than 150 per cent through the establishment of regional collection and quality control hubs under the East African Dairy Development project, which allowed farmers to negotiate better prices.”

The report also reviewed challenges facing Africa’s livestock sector ranging from feed quality to animal health and food safety issues, as well as highlighting the role of livestock in the empowerment of women.

“Productivity, health, and sustainability of livestock must be jointly addressed” said Joachim von Braun, co-chair of the Malabo Montpellier Panel. “This requires broad based innovations especially in animal nutrition, vet services, and digitization of markets.”

The report made 11 recommendations covering policy, trade and finance as well as resolving conflict between pastoralists and crop farmers. Among these were recommendations to harmonize regulations and recognize the rights of herders as well as designing tailored financial services such as livestock insurance.

Panel members highlighted Nigeria’s Grazing Bill, which legalized the grazing rights of pastoralists as part of efforts to end ongoing deadly disputes between farmers and herders.

“Understanding the interactions between livestock and the environment is essential to developing a thriving, sustainable livestock sector, including assessing the extent of grassland degradation, land and water pollution, water scarcity, biodiversity loss, and emissions,” said Nachilala Nkombo, Panel member and country director for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Zambia.

“With rangelands accounting for an estimated two-thirds of Africa’s land surface, rangeland degradation from overgrazing is an important threat that can also contribute to conflict between farmers and pastoralists.

“Lessons can be drawn from past livestock growth in other developing regions to design and implement policies that effectively manage the trade-offs associated with livestock sector transformation and the environment. With human and livestock populations going up, regenerative approaches to livestock production and management will secure both key environmental services and the sector long-term.”

Elsewhere, countries such as Zimbabwe have responded to the need for more, better quality feed to sustainably grow the livestock sector. Some farmers who received training in the production of forage seeds in eastern Zimbabwe earned up to US$800 each for producing lablab, or Hyacinth bean, which also improved the quality of meat.

And simple mobile technology has been used in Ghana to provide veterinary information and advice to livestock farmers. Within two years of the information service CowTribe launching, vaccine coverage among its users increased from less than 20 per cent to 65 per cent, reducing livestock disease and loss, and adding an estimated US$300 to their annual household income.

Source: The Independent

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Govt to import 10 million vaccines to control cattle disease

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Entebbe, Uganda.  Government is set to import 10 million doses of vaccines to enable scaling up of ring vaccination as the fight to eradicate Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in Ugandan cattle enters a new phase.

Cabinet chaired by President Yoweri Museveni on Monday also proposed that once ring vaccination is complete, farmers start paying for the FMD vaccines in a compulsory vaccination scheme, and thereafter, trade in animal products, will be restricted to those adhering to the plan.

Minister of Agriculture, Animal industry and Fishers Frank Tumwebazwe on Monday shared the resolutions after Cabinet laid out strategies to contain the disease that has hit 36 districts.

Cabinet agreed to create a revolving fund to enable procurement of sufficient FMD vaccines to facilitate compulsory bi-annual vaccination of the susceptible domestic animal population. It also approved a plan for farmers to pay for the vaccines while government covers other costs.

“Vaccination is to be made compulsory. Proof of vaccination will be a precondition for any farmer to sell any animal products,” said Minister Tumwebazwe.

“I appeal to fellow livestock farmers and stakeholders to understand and appreciate these effort as we steadily move to eradicate FMD in Uganda just like other animal diesases like rinderpest wre eradicated.”

Ntoroko veterinary disease surveillance team conducting FMD surveillance and sample collection

The 36 districts currently affected and under quarantine are Budaka, Bukedea, Bukomansimbi, Bunyangabu, Butaleja, Fortportal City, Gomba, Ibanda, Isingiro, Kabarole, Kasanda, Kayunga, Kazo, Kiboga, Kibuku, Kiruhura, Kumi, Kyankwanzi, Kyegegwa, Kyotera, Luuka, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Mbarara, Mbarara City, Mityana, Mpigi, Mubende, Nakaseke, Nakasongola, Namisindwa, Ngora, Ntungamo, Rakai, Rwampara and Sembabule.

All districts neighboring the affected districts are at high risk, under strict surveillance, and the authorities have been advised to remain vigilant.

These include Apac, Amolatar, Bugiri, Bushenyi, Butaleja, Hoima, Iganga, Jinja, Kabale, Kaberamaido, Kaliro, Kamuli, Kamwenge, Katakwi, Kasese, Kibaale, Kiboga, Kyenjojo, Mbale, Masindi, Mayuge, Mukono, Namalemba, Nakapiripirit,
Palisa, Rukungiri, Sironko, Wakiso and Soroti.

Tumwebaze assured farmers that in the next one or two months, his Ministry expects to receive and dispatch 2.3 million doses of the FMD vaccine to the affected and susceptible districts for ring vaccination scale-up.

He told parliament earlier that as a way of increasing availability of Foot and Mouth Disease vaccines in the country,
Uganda’s National Agiculture Research Organisation (NARO) has started the process of formulating and developing an FMD vaccine for Uganda.

Source: The independent

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FARM NEWS

Farmers losing Shs4 trillion due to livestock diseases

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ScienceDirect has revealed that farmers in Uganda lose more than $1.1b (Shs4.1 trillion) in aggregated annual direct and indirect loss due to the rising spread of tick-borne animal challenges, with the commonest and economically damaging tick-borne disease being the East Coast Fever.

The livestock industry in Uganda and its productivity continue to be threatened by a number of diseases many of which are tick-borne related.

This, Dr Anna Rose Ademun, the Ministry of Agriculture commissioner animal health, said results from arcaricides that have become resistant, thus the need to ensure collaboration and get solutions to the problem.

“There are ongoing efforts by the Agriculture Ministry, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation to support diagnosis of tick resistance to acaricides at regional laboratory centres but this is not enough,” she said during the livestock industry key stakeholders meeting in Kampala, which had been convened to discuss and prioritise areas for tick control.

The stakeholders included veterinarians, extension staff, farmers, processors and government representatives.

Ministry of Agriculture is already working on the Managing Animal Health and Acaricides for a Better Africa Initiative, which seeks to, among others, provide sustainable solutions to enable small-scale farmers maximise the potential of their cattle by developing and practicing methods that can successfully manage tick infections in cattle.

During the meeting, the TickAcademy App, which will support farmers in managing tick infestations was also pre-launched.

By the end of January, farmers and extension workers will be able to access the app’s educational content, which includes simple-to-watch films, to help them become knowledgeable about tick control.

Mr Enrique Hernández Pando, the GALVmed head of commercial development and impact, said the Managing Animal Health and Acaricides for a Better Africa Initiative will be important in tackling acaricide resistance challenges as well as help farmers and animal health officers to access creative methods of addressing the problem of acaricide resistance.

During the meeting, stakeholders jointly agree to train and sensitise field staff and farmers about tick management strategies that work, as well as strengthen the diagnostic infrastructure and testing capabilities for tick resistance and other animal health-related concerns.

Others will involve making it easier for farmers to obtain credit from savings institutions run by farmer groups at a reasonable cost so they may purchase specialized equipment for applying pesticides.

Mr Nishal Gunpath, the Elanco Animal Health country director south and sub-Saharan Africa, said they will support the Initiative to drive livestock in a better direction, noting that it will also help small-scale livestock farmers to maximise their potential.

Original Source: Daily Monitor

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FARM NEWS

Ibanda imposes livestock quarantine to curb anthrax

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Ibanda, Uganda.  Authorities in Ibanda district have enforced a quarantine on the movement of cattle and, the sale of animal products following an outbreak of anthrax.

According to the Ibanda District Chief Administrative Officer Ruhemba Kweronda, the district has registered sporadic cases of anthrax disease in Humans who are suspected to have handled meat from infected dead animals.

Kweronda says the disease that was first noticed in November last year was reported in Rugaaga 1 and IV villages of Keihangara Sub County, where nine people who confessed to having slaughtered a dead animal tested positive for Anthrax.

He adds that early this month one person from Mbonwa Parish Rukiri Sub County tested positive and currently 12 people from Kakoma are showing signs. He also said that two animals died abruptly in Kigarama ward Ibanda Municipality and samples have been collected and taken to the laboratory.

According to Kweronda, all slaughter activities and movement of livestock will be temporarily enforced for one month in Ibanda Municipality and Ibanda South Constituency.

He says other measures put in place to curb the spread of the disease include registering all meat handlers in the district, enforcing the requirement by all cattle traders to have cattle trading licenses issued by the Ministry of Animal Husbandry, carrying out ring vaccination of all suspected animal species in areas of Keihangara sub county Bisheshe Division, Rukiri Sub County and Kagongo division, but also continue sensitization and surveillance activities.

Dr Hillary Arinaitwe, the District Veterinary Officer says that they have written to the Ministry of Agriculture demanding vaccines.

In December, authorities in Kyotera district enforced a complete ban on the movement of livestock and its products to halt the spread of Anthrax.

For nearly a month, the district has grappled with a rare outbreak of Anthrax. This outbreak has claimed at least six lives and led to several hospitalizations.

Anthrax is a zoonotic caused by Bacillus anthracis, a spore-like bacteria that produces strong toxins that are dangerous to animals and humans. Ruminants such as cows, goats, and sheep can quickly die with their carcasses showing little signs of infection but in human beings, symptoms begin with a flu-like illness, raised boil-like lesions on the skin.

Meanwhile, officials in Kiruhura District have extended the closure of four animal markets to control the spread of foot and mouth disease in the district.

The four markets are Nyakasahara, Kyiebuza, Kyeshama livestock markets, and Kitura goat Market.

In the Circular from the Kiruhura District Chief Administrative Officer Charles Kiberu Nsubuga, to all lower local council chairpersons dated 12th January 2024, they should ensure continued enforcement of the directive.

Original Source URN via : The Independent

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