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EC financing agreement for SADC livestock sector

The European Commission on Monday signed an agreement with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to support a five-year project for improving livestock productivity in the region. "This project seeks to contribute to poverty reduction in the SADC region through increased productivity and trade flows in the traditional livestock sub-sector of the SADC member states," said SADC executive secretary, Prega Ramsamy. The US $9.2 million project, the Promotion of Regional Integration in the SADC Livestock Sector (Print), is designed to strengthen the work of the SADC's Food Agriculture and Natural Resources Directorate. The directorate promotes regional integration and sustainable livestock production, and coordinates strategies on animal disease control and human resource development. Part of the Print initiative involves the creation of a Livestock Information Management System within the SADC secretariat, headquartered in Botswana, which will help with policy development and risk assessment for both the public and private sectors. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, sub-Saharan Africa has one of the fastest growing human populations in the world, coupled with one of the lowest per capita consumption rates of livestock products. Average annual per capita meat consumption in Africa is 11 kg, less than half the developing world's average of 26.4 kg. Improvement in the supply of meat and milk depends on an increase in livestock productivity, which remains generally poor across the SADC region. The technical support provided by Print aims to help build the national capacity of livestock services staff to assist rural producers, as well as providing the framework for tackling highly contagious animal diseases such foot-and-mouth. "This animal health disease has caused, and is still causing, great problems in this region, and constitutes a big threat to a viable and productive livestock sector, which in many countries is an important contributor to the economy," said Claudia Wiedey-Nippold, the head of the European Delegation in Botswana.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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