BOTSWANA: Govt unveils plan to control FMD
GABORONE, 2 March (IRIN) - Botswana has drawn up a contingency plan for
controlling and eventually eradicating foot and mouth disease (FMD) as it
battles to meet the beef export preconditions set by the European Union
"Given our small domestic market for animal products, we want to maintain
the export market, and the contingency plan is the first step in meeting
the requirements of our customers," said Mathias Chakalisa, the permanent
secretary in the ministry of agriculture.
The cattle industry is Botswana's second largest foreign currency
earner, after diamonds, and a lifeline for most Batswana, but the FMD outbreaks in
2002/03 froze beef exports to emerging markets as well as the EU, its
According to Chakalisa, the country lost over 170 million Pula (US $38.4
million) in export revenue as a result.
The emergency programme, approved last week at a beef industry stakeholders' meeting in the capital, Gaborone, seeks to revive the
country's ailing cattle industry.
"The plan contains eight elements, which are risk analysis of the
disease, prevention strategies, early warning contingency plans, strategies for
control and eradication of the disease and support mechanism," Chakalisa
The contingency measures are to be presented to a delegation of EU beef
inspectors visiting Botswana next week to assess compliance with EU
livestock industry-related export requirements.
IRIN - [This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]