Vaccine Institute Benefits Region

| May 15, 2015

Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Edmond Moabi says Botswana is a country which prides itself in livestock production and trading.

Speaking on behalf of Minister Patrick Ralotsia at a workshop for livestock disease control, themed Improving Rural Livelihoods Through Sustainable Animal Disease Control Strategies” in Mokolodi on Tuesday, May 12, Mr Moabi said the Botswana Vaccine Institute (BVI) which is a leader in production of veterinary vaccines especially Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), had contributed enormously to the control of the diseases of economic importance in Botswana and different regions in Africa through provision of quality vaccines, thereby securing the animal trade.

He added that BVI, which was established in 1979 with technical partnership of a French company called Merial, to provide, safeguard and to support the livestock industry in Botswana and the region, exported vaccines to SADC countries and other in Africa as well as Asia, the Middle and Far East.

“BVI was appointed a Regional Reference Laboratory for FMD in Sub-Saharan Africa by the World Organisation for Animal Health a status maintained to date. As a reference laboratory, BVI is mandated to provide diagnostic expertise in support of the effective control and prevention of FMD in the region,” he said.

Barclays Bank Botswana corporate director, Ms Lesley Bradley said Agriculture sector remained critical to the livelihood of all nations as it provided economic security.

Ms Bradley said as government shifted from subsistence agriculture to promotion of more commercialised agriculture, there was certainly improved productivity and competitiveness which ultimately resulted in poverty eradication and prosperity.

She said trans-boundary disease outbreaks were highly contagious and endemic cutting across certain areas globally hence Barclays Bank’s desire to remain relevant in the Agricultural sector and make an impact globally.

For his part, Southern African Development Community (SADC) and African Union-Inter African bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) regional coordinator, Dr Peter Sinyangwe said livestock sector was broad and covered highly diverse agro-ecological, social and political dimensions across continents, regions and countries.

He said about 900 million of the world’s 1.2 billion were extremely poor people who lived in rural areas, most of them relying on agricultural activities for their food and income.

“The livestock sector plays a vital role in the economies of many developing countries.

It provides food, income, employment and possibly foreign exchange,” he said.

However, Dr Sinyangwe said accelerated livestock production and productivity in Africa had been slowed down due to a number of trans-boundary animal disease (TADs) and zoonosis, most of which were endemic and neglected.

Further, he said the burden of the disease in Africa was still disturbing but the AU-IBAR continued to confront the need to invest more effort to lessen the burden and reduce the impact of such diseases to social and economic well-being.

The one-day workshop was hosted by BVI in collaboration with Barclays Bank Botswana. BOPA

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Medical/Health Care

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