• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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FG tackles viral diseases among livestock, distributes 12.5m PPR vaccine doses

FG to boost livestock business, strengthen PPP drive

As part measures to curb viral diseases plaguing the production of livestock, especially sheep and goats, the Federal Government has distributed 12.5 million doses of Peste Des Petits Ruminants (PPR) vaccine to livestock farmers across the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja under the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security Livestock Vaccination Campaign.

A statement signed by Eremah Anthonia, Chief Information Officer of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, indicated that the minister made the declaration in Abuja during the 3rd PPR Roadmap and Blueprint Meeting for West Africa Countries.

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The statement stated that Aliyu Abdullahi, the minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, noted that PPR also known as sheep and goat plague, is a highly contagious viral disease that affects small ruminants, causing significant economic losses and threatening the livelihoods of millions of rural families in West Africa.

According to Abdullahi, the impact of PPR extends beyond animal health, affecting food security, economic stability, and the overall well-being of our communities and the most vulnerable in society.

He pointed out that the production, trade, and marketing of sheep and goats were seriously constrained by the continuous presence of PPR, which limits its productivity and access to markets.

The minister stressed that the eradication of PPR and other trans-boundary Animal Diseases (TADs) is a critical component of the present Administration, adding that eliminating the disease would not only protect livestock, but would also empower rural communities and contribute to the nation’s economic resilience.

“It is on record that since the inception of the PPR Global Eradication Programe, the Ministry has developed a PPR Strategy for the control and eradication in Nigeria, national-wide socio economic impact assessment and prevalence studies has been carried and in recent time over 12.5 million doses of PPR vaccine have been procured and deployed to the field for vaccination campaigns”, he said

He added that laboratory diagnostic capacity had been enhanced, stressing that Nigeria in the coming years would ensure animal vaccination of 75% of sheep and goats against PPR.

Speaking further, Abdullahi highlighted the challenges to include: gaps in funding, logistical hurdles in reaching remote areas, and the need for continuous training and capacity building for our veterinary workforce.

He noted that to address these challenges, “we must strengthen our partnerships, both regionally and internationally and mobilize the necessary resources to support our concerted eradication efforts, cross-border collaboration remains critical to make a meaningful progress to achieve the desired result”.

The minister however urged participants to actively engage in the discussions, share insights and collaborate on innovative solutions, adding that the roadmap and blueprint for PPR eradication will require meticulous planning, robust implementation, sustained commitment from all stakeholders an effective cross-border collaboration with neighbouring countries.

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Koffy Dominique, FAO Representative AD Interim in Nigeria and ECOWAS, represented by Otto Vianney Muhinda, stated that the meeting provided a crucial forum to enhance coordination among countries with the aim of spearheading accelerated progress towards PPR.

He pointed out that the second phase of PPR Global eradication programme (or PPR GEP Blueprint) was launched in November 2022 by FAO, WOAH and partners at the FAO headquarters in Rome, while the Pan-African Programme for Eradication of PPR (2023-2027) was recently endorsed and launched by the Ministers in charge of Animal Resources Development.

The FAO representative added that both PPR GEP BP and Pan African Strategy recognize that progress towards the objectives of PPR eradication, veterinary services strengthening and a more productive small ruminants sector relies upon strong strategic partnerships with regional organizations and Regional Economic Communities, who must provide regional ownership, leadership, collaboration and coordination.