IGAD Member States production as means to improve the regional blocs food security.

Spread the love

Views: 2

Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) member states have been challenged to come up with interventions and policies to improve and build the resilience of livestock production as means to improve the regional blocs food security.

Experts specialising in the livestock sector from the eight IGAD member states including Uganda, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia are meeting in Entebbe to discuss ways in which the livestock production in the region can be improved since the sector provides livelihood to millions of people especially in the arid and semi arid areas of the region.

Senait Regassa the IGAD coordinator food systems resilience program says during the four days meeting the experts are expected to come up with an action plan on harmonisation and implementation of prioritised policy and technical matters related to livestock production systems resilience in cross border areas of the region.

Regassa stresses, “the purpose of this meeting is to identify key priority areas of intervention to implement in this program, particularly for the livestock component of the program. At the end of this consultative meeting, we hope to have identified key areas of intervention based on the experience of participating experts and organizations, and also after getting information on who is doing what, where and after identifying the gaps that are still there and where these food systems program can come in to complement.”

According to the IGAD food security officer Dr Sylvia Henga, the food security of the IGAD region is under threat thus the need for sustainable maintenance of food production

Henga noted, “we have the threat of climate change. We are trying to bounce back from Covid 19. We are tackling Desert Locust and many, many other issues like floods, forced displacement that are actually reducing the rate of food security and also causing most of our people to die from hunger and starvation. So our interest from the program is to just be able to improve food security, and to build, the economic empowerment of the society. We need the food to be able to be accessible. It should be affordable. And also it should be nutritionally sound, for all the various, groups in the population and also with respect to their various ages. So through this program and also this particular meeting will enable us to identify the various challenges that actually influence the livestock sector, that we can also build up, scale up and be able to use in the program to be able to, uh, improve food security in the, in the region.”

She says IGAD member states need deliberate policies to enhance the quality and resilience of livestock production if the sector is to be relied on for food security.

“One of the issues the region is actually facing is food losses, food losses due to poor post-harvest value addition, for example. So we need policies that would be able to enable the region or the processors manufacturers to handle these food, one in a safe manner, but b also to address the issue of preservation of foods, because most of the times we face shocks because we are not prepared. And one of the ways of disaster preparedness, especially with regard to animal production, is to find or invent ways of being able to one add value, for example, process these materials and produce other materials that could be useful in the region, right from milk, uh, dairy products to, uh, fodder products, to even hides and even processing the meat so that it is in a state that can be preserved not just for the current generation, but also in the future.” Advised Henga

Dr William Ssendawula a senior veterinary officer in the ministry of agriculture challenged IGAD member states to address the common challenges threatening the livestock sector including transboundary diseases like Foot and mouth Disease among others.

“Because we know that, a stable community is a community that is food secure when people have what to eat, what to sell, they can meet, their additional livelihoods, and needs within their communities. So IGAD has tried to see that, these communities, the challenges they face are addressed, most especially the livestock sector. We need to build systems that can stand a test of time within our communities. And this is how our people, and the economy will be able to grow. So if, we want a stable and a resilient community, we need to address these challenges that affect the livestock sector.” Said Dr Ssendawula

Enhancing livestock resilience is part of the IGAD food systems resilience program funded by the world bank and aimed at increasing the resilience of food systems and preparedness for food insecurity in participating countries.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Skip to content