SOUTHERN AFRICA – Zambia has received an additional US$3.9m support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), to support small and medium sized agribusiness enterprises.
In the two months since Zambia’s August 12 presidential election, USAID has programmed approximately US$30 million in new U.S. Government funding for the Zambian people.
The additional funds will help grow small and medium enterprises, particularly those that are women-led, with a focus on strengthening job creation and revenue growth.
Meanwhile, key stakeholders in the Zimbabwe livestock sector from both the public and private sector, have reviewed and validate the national tick-borne diseases control strategy and animal health regulations.
In the Southern African country, the livestock sector is positioned to take a key role in the current national inclusive transformation agenda towards attainment of vision 2030.
About 90 percent of the national herd is held by the small holder communal sector yet growth of the sector is currently being stifled by high prevalence of a variety of livestock diseases, particularly tick-borne diseases and face serious threats from emerging diseases such as Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI).
The presence of these diseases and the perceived risk from the emerging diseases that have potential to decimate the sector have become a major stumbling block for entry into local, regional and international markets hence the need for improved sector regulation for improved animal health and food safety.
The Transforming Zimbabwe’s Animal Health and Food Safety Systems for the Future Project (SAFE) is being implemented by FAO and GoZ as part of the European Union (EU) funded Zimbabwe Agricultural Growth Program (ZAGP).
The project has developed three new regulations prioritized under the animal health act and revised four existing regulations that have been identified to be key in facilitating unlocking the value of livestock in the smallholder sector and facilitate market entry.
The initiative has also developed a tick-borne disease control strategy designed to tame the current spike in tick-borne diseases that has been on the upward trend for the past three or so years and has wiped household herds in some parts of the country.
In 2019, FAO received a grant from the EU, to implement the SAFE project under the ZAGP. The overall objective of the SAFE project is to transform these systems for improved livestock productivity, food and consumer safety and market access.
To achieve this objective, the project supports formulation and updating of national strategies and regulations for creation of conducive livestock production environment.
Under ZAGP, the SAFE project is also creating functional multi stakeholder platforms for coordination, collaboration, advocacy and support for efficient revenue generation and utilization by regulatory bodies such as the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS).
The project is currently collaborating with the DVS and AGRITEX to establish a functional livestock business forum to strengthen the organization and coordination of value chain actors.