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COMESA livestock policy coming

THE Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is expected to formulate a regional livestock policy framework that will act as  a guide for member countries to enable them attract public and private investments along the different livestock value chains.
To this effect, COMESA Secretariat, in partnership with the African Union – InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) held a two-day regional workshop for the validation of the COMESA livestock policy framework which ended yesterday.
Some of the objectives of the policy are to ensure sustainable livestock production, productivity and competitiveness to be responsive and adaptable to changing market conditions and consumer demands.
COMESA acting assistant secretary general ambassador Nagla El-Hussainy said the development of the policy will enhance livestock and livestock product trade among member countries and globally.
“The formulation of a harmonised livestock policy framework is expected to pave the way for accelerated private and public investments in the livestock sector in our region,” he said.
It will also ensure resilience to risks and shocks to secure livestock assets and support harmonised registration and control over veterinary medicinal products’ import and distribution.
Other objectives will include enabling effective integration and harmonised implementation that will help facilitate secured access to basic production inputs to engage in productive use of livestock assets, among others.
Officiating at the event, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock director of livestock department Ben Mwenya said efforts have been made by Government to improve livestock services infrastructure through the establishment of diagnostic and research institutes.
Dr Mwenya said Government is happy with the support that COMESA and AU-IBAR are providing in formulating the policy agenda.
“The framework will definitely take us forward in our effort to control trans-boundary animal diseases and improvement of trade in agricultural produce within our region and beyond,” he said.