Dec 13, 2011, 2:53 PM
Officials of the veterinary services under the Ministry of Agriculture, in collaboration with the FAO, on Thursday launched a massive vaccination of goats, sheep and cattle countrywide.
The launching, held at the veterinary office in Brikama, was attended by the Governor of West Coast Region, the director general of the department of Agriculture, the FAO country representative, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture and other government officials.
In his speech at the launching, the permanent secretary 2 at the Ministry of Agriculture, Sana Dahaba, expressed appreciation on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture to be associated with the launching.
According to him, the countrywide mass vaccination campaign of sheep and goats against Pasteurellosis is essential.
He also said the vaccination campaign is part of an emergency package meant for livestock farmers in the country.
The package comprises veterinary vaccines, pastureland vaccines, veterinary drugs, de-wormers and ectoparasite wash, animal feed, rice bran, and feed supplements, multi-nutrient blocks, provided by the FAO in connection with the 2011 crop failure.
The permanent secretary also expressed profound gratitude to the FAO for supporting farmers at the time of great need.
The timely intervention of the FAO for the emergency relief for farmers is as a result of the 2011 crop failure and another clear testimony to the strong and reliable partnership that exists between the Government of The Gambia and the FAO, he said.
The Government of The Gambia recognizes the important role of the livestock sector in the socio-economic development of the country, he said.
According to him, the livestock plays a significant role in the Gambia national economy, accounting for about 26 per cent of agricultural GDP with annual growth rate of 3.3 per cent.
He said the Government of The Gambia is totally committed to the development of the livestock sector in the country.
He used the opportunity to inform livestock farmers countrywide that the Ministry of Agriculture has embarked on the implementation of a roadmap starting with the re-establishment of the department of livestock services with a strong veterinary services component under a single chain of command in line with the OIE standards for veterinary services.
“We are cognizant of the fact that a strong, vibrant and efficient veterinary service is a key factor in the transformation of the sector,” he said.
“It is therefore envisaged that with the re-establishment of the department of livestock services, quality veterinary services and quality animal production services will be accessible in every district throughout the country for livestock producers and other actors of the livestock value chain.”
For his part, the FAO country representative, Dr Babagana Ahmadu, also expressed his appreciation to be associated with the event.
He said the occasion gave them the opportunity for government to respond to the emergency declaration some time last year calling for support, in respect of the crop failure that affected mostly 19 districts.
Dr Doto Fofana, coordinator of the FAO relief to agriculture, applauded the FAO for supporting the livestock sector in addressing food security in the country.
He added that the Government of The Gambia and in particular the beneficiaries, are really most grateful to this kind of humanitarian gesture.
In his official launching, the governor of West Coast Region, Lamin Sanneh, expressed delight to preside over the launching of the FAO-funded vaccination and de-worming campaign in the West Coast Region.
He then thanked the Government of The Gambia and the FAO for this very important campaign while using the opportunity to call on farmers to participate in the activity.