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Monday, September 7, 2015

Animal deaths worsen food crisis in Africa

The Animal Health Officer at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Dr. Felix Njemi has said that the large number of animal deaths is worsening the food crisis in Africa, especially in countries south of the Sahara, NaijaAgroNet reports.

Njemi was among experts from across Africa who agreed that trans-border diseases kill between 10 and 20 per cent of the continent’s animals every year. The experts, who gathered in Cameroon recently to discuss the problem, suggested large vaccination and pest eradication programmes to stop the spread of the diseases.

He said, “The strategy is the large vaccination at the country level. Undertake surveillance to detect any case of the disease and strengthen collaboration between member nations and even between international institutions. Imagine somebody who has 10 animals and loses eight. The disease can have impact in food security.”

Many poor people in African countries, he said, depend on goats and sheep for their livelihoods, even as he said  FAO is urging farmers to be on guard against transboundary animal diseases warning that ticks, lice and other pests can spread quickly from one country to the next, NaijaAgroNet gathered.

According to information from, Voice of America (VOA), the Cameroon’s livestock minister, Dr. Taiga, he does not use a first name, on his part, said pests like nose bot flies and wool maggots are harming animals in some communities in his country.

He said that all animals in an area must be killed if one animal is affected because the diseases are contagious. They spread quickly from animal to animal. He said that is why the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Organization for Animal Health are working together to destroy the diseases. He says that when central African countries succeed in killing the pests, their human populations will enjoy better quality protein, NaijaAgroNet reports.

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE

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