FAO, Partners Launch Anti-FMD Project in Southern Africa

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and its partners in Mozambique and Zimbabwe have launched a U.S.$500,000 Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) to improve food and nutrition security in southern Africa.

Development Diaries reports that the FAO is working with the governments of Mozambique and Zimbabwe to implement the programme.

It is understood that the programme also seeks to improve access to markets for livestock and their products through improved control of theileriosis and Foot-and-Mouth (FMD) serotype O in Southern Africa.

FMD, which is an animal disease outbreak, affects exports of beef and other related products, resulting in a negative impact on the economy and standing as a threat to food security.

Mozambique and Zimbabwe often suffer from trade embargoes limiting exports of even non-livestock products from affected areas.

‘This TCP speaks directly to our livestock growth plan, one of the key focuses of which is animal health, and where the country has a goal of increasing the national cattle herd from 5.5 million to six million by 2030. This is not possible to achieve in the face of animal disease outbreaks’, the Chief Director, Directorate of Veterinary Services in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development (MoLAFWRD) in Zimbabwe’, Josphat Nyika, said.

Smallholder farmers are particularly affected by FMD’s economic effects since it poses a threat to their livelihood due to its effects on production, food security, and income losses.

According to FAO statistics, four major tick-borne diseases (TBDs) have been attributed to over 60 percent of ruminant livestock death in Zimbabwe.

‘The rise in cattle fatalities in Zimbabwe due to theileriosis, and the imminent threat of spread of FMD serotype O in the region jointly necessitated the development of this ‘Emergency support to mitigate theileriosis disease in Zimbabwe and the risk of FMD serotype O in Southern Africa’ project’, FAO Subregional Coordinator for Southern Africa and FAO Representative in Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Eswatini, Patrice Talla, said.

One of the diseases, theileriosis, is said to have claimed an unusually high number of cattle in 2022/2023 rainy season, surpassing the records of preceding years, which forced the country to declare war against the disease.

Source: FAO

Photo source: UN


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