By Sylvester Thompson
Abuja – The European Union(EU) is set to control two livestock diseases prominent in poultry, and in small ruminants such as sheep and goat in rural communities of Nigeria.
Mr Arnaud Bataille, Virologist with the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), spoke with News Agency of Nigeria(NAN), on Thursday in Abuja.
Bataille was speaking on the sideline of the last day of a three-day stakeholders’ meeting, on the EU Support to Livestock Disease Surveillance Knowledge Integration (LIDISKI), project.
The virologist said the LIDISKI programme would deliver vaccines to rural farmers to take care of poultry disease (New castle disease, ND) and sheep and goat disease (PPR) , which will boost their productivity.
Bataille, is also the facilitator for CIRAD, the lead partner in the EU funded LIDISKI project in Nigeria.
“We want to engage the help of everybody who has a role to play in the fight against these diseases.
“We want to relate with the small holder farmers, train and work with vets, private and governmental vets who want to be involved in animal health.
“In this way, we can improve their knowledge about what the diseases are and vaccines are available which we can improve the delivery, for farmers to improve the health of their animals,’’ he said.
He added that the organisation intended to take the necessary measures to help farmers combat the diseases through surveillance and control.
Mr David Shamaki, Director/CEO of National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), a stakeholder and partner on the LIDISKI project, said the institute would help deliver strategy on how to make the available vaccines to farmers.
He said the vaccines would be delivered in “cold chain’’, in order to be effective when administered.
According to him, the cold chains are cold boxes that keep the temperature of the vaccines between four degrees and eight degrees.
He disclosed that the local name of the goat disease is goat catarrh, which also affected sheep and usually noticeable during the rainy seasons.
Mrs Ijeoma Ohuruogu, programme manager for IKORE, an indigenous agricultural development organisation and a key implementing partner in the LIDISKI project, said awareness shall be created among the rural farmers and herders
She said local community animal health workers shall be trained, vaccines shall be provided and veterinary services shall be engaged at the grassroots.
Ohuruogu said IKORE was a major implementing partner of the project and that there were four key partners, CIRAD, NVRI, IKORE and IZSVe.
She said the scientific committee and steering committee meetings had taken place on the last day of the stakeholders meeting on the LIDISKI project.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that on March 4, 2020, Mr Kurt Cornelis, the EU representative in Nigeria, disclosed that the EU has approved 2.5 million pounds to tackle livestock diseases in Nigeria.
He told the stakeholders and participants that the project offered an important step into the future and how challenges occasioned by animal disease could be addressed effectively.