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US$4 million to fight trans-boundary animal and plant pests and improve food safety in southern Africa

Africa mobilizes resources for Africa

Solidarity Fund Project Inception Workshop 27-28 November 2014 in Harare, Zimbabwe - FAO Photo
27 November 2014, Harare – A US$4 million project to strengthen controls of food security threats and better manage plant and animal pests and diseases in the Southern African region was launched today in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare.

The project is funded by the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund’s (ASTF), a unique initiative for mobilising resources ‘from Africa for Africa’ and administered by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

“The fund aims to pool resources from Africa’s strongest economies and use them across the continent to implement initiatives in the framework of the African Union’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme CAADP to boost agricultural productivity and food security in Africa”, said Chimimba David Phiri, FAO Sub-regional Coordinator for Southern Africa.

Eight countries in southern Africa will benefit directly from the three-year project. These include Angola, Botswana, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Other countries in the subregion will be key partners in the initiative because of the transboundary nature of the pests and diseases being targeted. The project will also work in close collaboration with the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to ensure Subregional coverage.

“Sustainable agriculture is known to support the majority of SADC member states’ economies and ensures food security, nutritional security and resilience in communities. It is therefore heartening to note that this project addresses the very impediments and constraints that limit progress in achieving sustainable agriculture, vibrant intra and inter – regional trade,” said the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mechanization, Irrigation Development responsible for Livestock and Veterinary Services, Paddy Zhanda.

The project will enhance effective prevention and control mechanisms in order to improve food and nutrition security and enhance regional and international trade of food and agro-products in southern Africa.

Pests and diseases know no boarders

Sustainable agriculture and natural resources management have the potential to make the southern Africa food secure and support a vibrant economy both within the region as well as with other regions. However, trans-boundary threats such as plant and animal pests and diseases, and food safety issues constrain the sub-region from achieving its full potential.

The nature of the plant and animal pests and diseases call for regional efforts to contain them as outbreaks spread quickly across the borders.

“Examples of such pests in plants include African armyworm, fruit flies, and locusts whose outbreaks leave a trail of destruction each time they strike. Destruction of crops and pastures has a massive impact on trade as well as food and nutrition security of millions of the families in the sub-region,” said Phiri.

Foot and mouth disease, anthrax, newcastle disease, peste des petits ruminants (a highly contagious and infectious viral disease of domestic and wild small ruminants) and the rift valley fever are just some of the few diseases that we have devastated the livestock sector in recent years.

“We must not forget that many-pests affect forestry and fisheries sector too. What is needed is an organised pest and diseases monitoring system to reduce the impact of pests and diseases on the productivity of food crops, livestock, fisheries and forest resources”, added Phiri.


Additional information is available here:

Photos - https://www.flickr.com/photos/faosouthernafrica/sets/72157649482499812/


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Caroline Hungwe

Communication Officer

FAO Zimbabwe

Harare, Zimbabwe

Email: Caroline.Hungwe@fao.org


Leonard Makombe

Assistant Communication Officer

FAO Zimbabwe

Harare, Zimbabwe

Email: Leonard. Makombe@fao.org

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