Minister Chikote identifies lack of effective disease management as inhibiting export of livestock products


African countries including Zambia have failed to penetrate the international livestock market because of lack of effective disease management systems, authorities say.

Fisheries and Livestock Minister, Makozo Chikote, said lack of effective disease management had inhibited countries from exporting their products outside the continent.

Chikote said this in Ethiopia when he transited from Morocco where he attended the 33rd Food and Agriculture Organization, (FAO) Regional Conference for Africa.

This is according to a statement issued in Lusaka on Tuesday by Zambia’s First Secretary for Press and Tourism at the mission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Inutu Mwanza.

“The problem of disease management has inhibited many countries from exporting outside Africa despite having good livestock on the continent,” the minister stated.

Chikote also urged Zambian farmers to consider investing more in value addition to make more profits.

He emphasised the need to devise mechanisms that could help address the management of livestock diseases.

Read More: Project to enhance health, welfare of livestock, fisheries in Zambia launched

“The livestock sector is thriving and addressing the disease burden would enhance Africa’s competitiveness in the sector,” Chikote said.

On agriculture, the Minister called on financial institutions to be flexible and not demand huge collateral from small-scale farmers if they are to venture into mechanization.

Chikote noted that through loans, farmers can mechanize their production, which would, in turn, increase productivity and ultimately contribute more to job creation and to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

“Many farmers in Zambia had not performed to their optimal levels because they lacked appropriate financial support from lending institutions,” he said.

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