EU donates €8m to fight foot and mouth


THE European Union (EU) has given the Zimbabwean government €8 million for anthrax and foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) control, an official has said.


The fund, expected to run over a four-year period under the theme Increased household food, income and nutrition security through commercialisation of an integrated and sustainable smallholder livestock sector in Zimbabwe, is being implemented by Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in partnership with Department of Livestock and Veterinary Services and two non-governmental organisations — Help Germany and Lead.

Speaking at a multi-stakeholder meeting for the development of a national FMD control strategy for Zimbabwe held in Bulawayo on Tuesday, veterinary services division director, Josphat Nyika said FAO has, through various donors, offered FMD support to the government, from as far back as 2006.


“This support has been just under $10 million. Currently, the Ministry of Agriculture Mechanisation Irrigation and Development is receiving support for anthrax and FMD control through a four-year programme worth €8 million. This is the project funding the FMD strategy development and consultative process,” he said.

Nyika said the second FAO-funded Technical Co-operation Projects (TCPs), valued at $856 000 were also supporting FMD control.

“The third projects have together procured 500 000 doses of FMD vaccine, as well as vaccination equipment, offered support for a post vaccination monitoring programme and trainings of veterinary extension staff in participatory surveillance,” he said.

The government is struggling to control FMD and anthrax. The country’s beef industry has been struggling for over a decade, since the European Union banned meat imports from Zimbabwe due to FMD outbreaks.

EU banned Zimbabwean beef exports in August 2001 after a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak which was also recently detected in Midlands, Matabeleland and Masvingo provinces.

Beef production was once the pride of the commercial farming sector, contributing $100 million a year.

Nyika said foot and mouth disease in cattle has occurred several times since 1931 when it was officially diagnosed in south-east Zimbabwe.

He said Zimbabwe has over the past year experienced incessant FMD outbreaks, with the disease now having spread to six of the country’s eight rural provinces, in spite of government efforts to control outbreaks, through rigorous livestock vaccination campaigns and enforcement of strict movement restrictions.

Nyika said a recurrent drought in the country, most severe in the southern and western parts, has forced communal farmers to move their livestock to areas adjacent to national parks, in search of relief grazing and water sources. This has increased buffalo-cattle contact and increasing incidents of the disease.

He said government, has through the department of Livestock and Veterinary Services, managed to reduce the impact of FMD despite challenges in accessing adequate resources to fund disease control programmes.

“Livestock productivity and farmer livelihoods in affected areas have been severely affected. The increased risk of FMD incursion into the traditionally FMD free zones, and into neighbouring countries, is an indisputable possibility.

“The current scenario also places limitations on the country’s level of competitiveness as a result of non-compliance to regional and international trade conditions,” he said.

Nyika said effective management of FMD was, therefore, essential if the country was to fully exploit potential trade opportunities that exist with improved livestock production and health.

“It is in view of the stated predicament that the government of Zimbabwe has sought to develop a comprehensive and inclusive national FMD control strategy with the full participation of all livestock value chain actors,” he said.

“I am pleased to inform you that FAO is committed to playing its role in the control of trans-boundary animal diseases by ensuring an enabling environment for livestock value chain actors.”

At regional level, Nyika said FAO was supporting the review of the commodity-based trade guidelines, as recommended by the World Organisation for Animal Health.
The guidelines and publications from this initiative will help to improve understanding of the approach and facilitate its subsequent implementation in the region, he added.


  1. Tjhe EU are donating money while this government is splashing on a birthday party and there is a drought does not make sense at all

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