SOMALIA – Major progress in animal health has led to a record landmark being reached in Somali livestock shipments.
Last year, five million head of livestock were shipped to the Gulf of Arabia, a 20 year record, according to the World Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
This was worth an estimated $360 million for the country.
The achievement, in the eyes of the FAO, is down to EU and UK investment into livestock infrastructure, fodder production and vaccination and treatment services.
Specifically, this has meant building four meat markets, four modern slaughterhouses and three livestock markets.
But receipts for 4.6 million goats and sheep, 340,000 cattle and 77,000 camels still have room for more more growth, say statesmen.
The news impacts millions of families in a country where livestock contributes 40 per cent of gross domestic product.
This is the message of Somalia’s livestock minister, Said Hussein lid, who said the achievement is a ‘key milestone’ for the sector, reflective of the large investments being made into increasing the competitiveness of the sector on an international scale.
Every year, Somalia vaccinates 12 million animals against peste des petits ruminants (PPR) and a further 12 million goats for Contagious Caprine Pleauropneumonia (CCPP).
These are costly diseases to farmers, as are transboundary diseases in general due to the large death toll on animals and subsequent food shortages, market disruptions and export barriers, explained an FAO spokesperson.
"This shows that, despite the challenges, the Somali people are successfully working to improve their economy and food security," said Richard Trenchard, head of FAO's office for Somalia. "FAO and our partners are committed to remaining engaged and involved in supporting those efforts."
He concluded: “An investment in livestock means an investment in economic growth for the whole of Somalia.”
TheCattleSite News Desk