COMESA has completed the development of a regional livestock policy which will be implemented in partnership with the Regional Economic Communities (RECs). The distribution of the policy, which is now in print, will soon begin to all COMESA countries and partners.
The coordinator of the COMESA Veterinary Governance (VETGOV) program Dr. Yoseph Shiferaw Mamo says his programme is working with individual Member States to have national livestock policies to help them develop the livestock sector. In this endevour, the Secretariat in collaboration with EAC, IGAD, SADC and AU-IBAR is working with all member States.
In addition to the RECs, the new regional policy will be implemented in collaboration with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). AU-IBAR is in charge of the overall coordination of the project and implementation of most activities, through Regional Economic Communities (RECs).
“The policy is expected to attract public and private investments along the different livestock value chains, enhancing livestock production and animal health so as to increase productivity and resilience of livestock production systems and to enhance innovation, generation and utilization of technologies, capacities and entrepreneurship skills of livestock value chain actors,” Dr Mamo said.
The stages of implementation vary according to priorities of member States. Some of the countries that are ahead in terms of improving production and productivity of their livestock sector are Ethiopia, Sudan, Mauritius, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Dr Mamo added that the COMESA region has a huge potential to produce enough livestock products for local consumption and for export. Some of the countries are already benefiting from livestock trade include Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya which export livestock products to the Middle East and Egypt. Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Kenya are also trading livestock and livestock products within the region.