The training which was held at the Ocean Bay Hotel in Bakau seeks to enhance processes for a better delivery of veterinary services through the proposed Veterinary Governance in Africa Programme and assist member states to sustainably manage their animal resources.
Hassan Jallow, the deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, while delivering a statement on behalf of the permanent secretary, told delegates: “The government of The Gambia in its continuous efforts to improve livestock production and productivity for food security, poverty reduction and empowerment of rural livestock farmers is in line with AU-IBAR’s evidence-based advocacy for policies and legislation changes for increased investment in livestock sector and improvement of critical competencies of veterinary services within the AU member states. Since 1994, The Gambia has been defining and implementing poverty alleviation and reduction strategies aimed at the realisation of Vision 2020.
“Livestock contributes about 8.6 percent of national GDP and 29.6 percent of agriculture share of GDP and has enormous potential to make significant contributions in employment creation, empowerment and increasing food security. Given its socio-economic food and nutritious importance for rural families, livestock as a key subsector in agriculture can be considered to be one of the drivers of wealth creation. Despite its leverage potentials, the livestock subsector in Africa has been constrained by unfavourable and weak implementation of policies, regulation and standards. Also, disease, lack of animal health and production data and the deterioration of the natural habitat of our indigenous animal genetic resources due to deforestation, bushfires, overgrazing and low rainfall.”
Earlier, Dr Baboucarr Jaw, the veterinary governance coordinator in his remarks stated: “ In line with its mandate, AU-IBAR is exploring practical strategies to assist member states and regional economic communities to sustainably manage their animal resources. The main approach to achieve these results is mobilisation of technical and financial resources to undertake interventions aimed at addressing the challenges facing animal resource development in Africa. Efforts aimed at improving the capacity to formulate and implement development policies are increasingly focused on the need to reform public administration and to redefine its relationships with private sectors, civil society and the international community.”]]>