FAO in Zimbabwe

FAO launches USAID-funded project to mitigate the impact of livestock diseases in Zimbabwe

High-level officials attending pose for a photo during the launch of the project

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing US$2.2 million to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) for the “Mitigating the Impact of Livestock Diseases” project. The one-year project will work to improve household resilience to shocks by protecting their livestock assets. The project’s design is based on the FAO, Department of Veterinary Services (DVS), and key livestock sector player’s technical experience in the holistic approaches for the prevention, surveillance, and control of animal diseases; as well as drawing on experiences and lessons from Zimbabwe and the Southern Africa region.  

Today, key stakeholders in the animal health and livestock sector value chain in Zimbabwe attended the project’s launch. The FAO presented the status of the regional livestock sector and an overview of the Emergency Livestock Project. FAO presented the project implementation and monitoring plan while demonstrating the project’s sustainability and exit strategy for key stakeholders and participants in the 11 districts where the project will be implemented.

“This initiative is very much welcome to the Ministry and to the rest of the Zimbabwean populace. It dovetails well into the objectives and goals of the economic blueprint, National Development Strategy 1 and is in keeping with the livestock growth plan which is crafted to address these challenges bedeviling the livestock sector,” said Professor Obert Jiri, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development in his official opening remarks of the launch.

The project is expected to strengthen responses to control livestock disease outbreaks, thereby protecting livelihood assets, and promoting improved livestock nutrition to increase animal disease resistance.

Because of the important role women play in household resilience to shocks, as well as in the livestock sector, this project will focus on enhancing women’s roles in household decision-making and project participation.

“Today is an important day for the livestock sector in Zimbabwe as we officially launch this project in support of livestock development. In collaboration with the Government of Zimbabwe and with support from USAID, FAO is positioned to contribute to the improvement of animal health to make livestock more productive and sustainable while achieving optimal health for all,” said Patrice Talla, FAO Subregional Coordinator for Southern Africa and Representative in Zimbabwe in his remarks during the project launch.

This project complements the National Development Strategy 1, the 2022-2026 Country Programme Framework (CPF) for Zimbabwe, USAID’s Country Development Cooperation Strategy (August 2022-August 2027), and FAO’s Strategic Framework 2022-2031, which seeks to support the 2030 Agenda through the transformation to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life–leaving no one behind.

At the end of the launch, participants emphasized and agreed on the importance of encouraging active participation and engagement from all key stakeholders in the project’s implementation for the best outcomes. The Government of Zimbabwe (GOZ) through DVS will lead in raising community awareness and training extension services on disease recognition, prevention, and control, as well as identifying key infrastructure for rehabilitation or construction. Through the Agricultural Advisory and Rural Development Services, the GOZ will also champion the identification, establishment, and implementation of farmer field schools for fodder crop production.