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FAO takes lead in generating evidence for policy formulation to anticipate, predict, and manage changes in livestock systems in Africa

The FAO Country Representative Mr. Alhaji Jallow (L) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Permanent Secretary Mr. Pius Wakabi launching the Africa Sustainable Livestock 2050
12/06/2017

 

Kampala – In an effort to ensure that livestock production in Africa supports national development and poses minimal or no public and environmental health risks, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) joined hands with USAID and the Government of Uganda,  through the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), Ministry of Water and Environment, and the Office of the Prime Minister, to implement the Africa Sustainable Livestock 2050 (ASL 2050) project. ASL 2050 was launched on 07 June 2017 at Hotel Africana in Kampala by the MAAIF Permanent Secretary, Mr. Pius Wakabi, in the presence of the FAO Representative in Uganda, Mr. Alhaji Jallow.  

 

ASL 2050 will support the Governments of Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda to identify opportunities, predict threats, and generate evidence to support necessary policy reforms associated with long-term investment in livestock; while also improving people’s livelihoods through providing sources of income, food and employment. These countries are expected to experience major changes in their livestock systems in the coming decades due to increasing population and demand for livestock products, among other reasons. They are, therefore, making investments to control and manage zoonotic diseases (diseases that affect both humans and animals).

 

ASL 2050 comes from a background that acknowledges that about 75 percent of all new, emerging, or re-emerging diseases affecting humans at the beginning of the 21st century are zoonoses. Therefore, the project is timely, as it will support participating countries forecast changes in livestock production systems in the next three decades and support them realize a common long-term vision of complementarity among current and future livestock, public health and environment policies.

 

During the launch, FAO Country Representative, Mr. Jallow, noted that Africa is one of the fast growing economies in the world; and with increasing levels of national income, the demand for livestock products such as meat, milk and eggs is projected to grow. To match supply with growing demand, producers will have to make changes in livestock production and supply chain, and some of these changes may have negative effects on humans and the environment. These changes could also include greater risks of the spread of emerging zoonotic diseases.

 

According to Mr. Jallow, this “calls for development of comprehensive disease detection and response capacities, particularly in “hotspot” regions where a confluence of risk factors increases the risk of zoonotic disease emergence”.

 

In launching the ASL2050 in Uganda, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Mr. Pius Wakabi, revealed that Uganda’s population is projected to “grow from the current 35million to 130million people by 2050. This, he said, justified the need to plan and have foresight in predicting and managing changes caused by population growth pressures, including effects on livestock and the environment.

 

“We need to have a strategic approach to update and harmonize policies” to guide on how we want to see the livestock sector support the country’s development now and in the future, he said. Mr. Wakabi informed participants that the Government of Uganda is committed to supporting the ASL 2050 project and thanked FAO for “always unreservedly” supporting agriculture development in the country.

 

The launch was attended by officials from Government of Uganda agencies, ministries, district health and veterinary officers, and the media.

 

More information

ASL2050 is a two-year initiative that is part of the USAID funded project on Emerging Pandemic Threats (EPT2). ASL 2050 is using the One Health approach in its implementation. One Health is “the collaborative effort of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally to attain optimal health for people, animals, plants and our environment”.

 

According to ASL 2050 Uganda country brief, the milk and meat (combined beef, poultry, mutton and pork) consumption will increase by over 400% and 500% respectively between 2010 and 2050 from 5.4 thousand and 2.1 thousand tonnes to 6.5 and 2.5 million tonnes respectively. Greater consumption will contribute to increase in livestock population, resulting in pressures on the population and the environment. Stakeholders at a follow up workshop defined beef and chicken meat systems and identified indicators for public health, environment and livelihoods that ASL2050 could consider critical in understanding potential changes in the sector between now and 2050.