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23.04.2012 Africa


By Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS)
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ABUJA, Nigeria, April 23, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- West African agriculture stakeholders have intensified measures to improve the seasonal movement of livestock (transhumance) in order to boost the economies of ECOWAS Member States.

The measures were agreed by the ECOWAS Technical Committee on Trans-boundary diseases at a three-day meeting held in Accra, Ghana 9th to 12th April 2012, as part of efforts to support wealth creation and strengthen the fight against poverty in the region.

The participants also resolved to harmonisz regulatory texts related to cross-border transhumance and to support the development of pastoral spaces in border areas of Member States.

They also examined a UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report, which analyzed livestock production and the characteristics of cross-border transhumance in relation to the challenges of livestock production in West Africa, including the adverse effects of climate change and environmental degradation.

Furthermore, climatic, sociological and pathological factors of transhumance would be addressed by the stakeholders to encourage dialogue between state representatives and livestock breeders, to maximize the herders' benefits.

They urged authorities of ECOWAS Member States to support the livestock sector with appropriate funding from their national budgets so as to facilitate access to livestock feed by producers.

Transhumance management mechanisms will also be canvassed to promote collaboration among stakeholders.

The meeting was attended by stakeholders in the livestock sector from ECOWAS Member States, representatives of the FAO, African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), Association for the promotion of livestock breeding in the Sahel (APESS), other agriculture organizations and officials of the ECOWAS Agriculture Directorate.

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