Panafrican News Agency

West Africa livestock council Inaugural forum opens in The Gambia

Banjul, Gambia (PANA)  -   A two-day inaugural forum of the new West Africa Livestock Council opened here Tuesday aimed at improving the standard of livestock among the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member-states.

The forum will enable participants from to review the council’s structure, appointments to positions, setting up of the executive committee, rules of procedures and adoption of technical, administrative and financial documents, among others.

The West African livestock innovation centre (WALIC) was built on 30 years legacy and achievements of the former International Trypanotolerance Centre (ITC).

The centre therefore has a new vision and mission to unlock the potentials of West Africa’s ruminant livestock sector through innovative partnership and knowledge-based solutions, empowering stakeholders along the value chain.

The new name for the centre was born during the consultative meetings, electronic discussions and validation workshop that led to the development and validation of a new 10-year strategic plan (2013-2022).

The permanent secretary at the ministry of Agriculture, Lamin Camara, underscored the importance of the meeting, noting that it was a milestone dream for the transformation of livestock standard in the region.

Camara recalled the significant improvement in the standard of ruminants in the region as well as the capacity of the staff. He however, appealed for more collaboration among the member-states to improve the health of small ruminants.

The development of livestock, according to PS Camara, is another priority area of government’s national development plan, adding that there was need for holistic measure by the council to enable member-states to generate revenue through livestock products and production.

Professor Olanrewaju Smith, former technical adviser to the acting director general of the ITC, and West Africa Livestock Innovation Centre, described the meeting as “an important ambition” for the region in improving the standard of livestock.

Alagie Nyangado, a representative from the office of the president of The Gambia, reiterated the government’s commitment to the development of livestock sector, both at home and at regional level, while giving a rundown of the estimated revenue generated from livestock as well as its nutritional values.

According to Nyangado, it seeks research and innovation for informed effective policy formulation and implementation, technology transfer as well as public-private partnership to provide the enabling environment that would stimulate growth of the livestock sector.


-0-   PANA    MSS/RA  29Oct2019