The Former Commissioner with the African Union Commission Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, says that PPR (Pestes de Petit Ruminants) disease in livestock is causing a menace and negatively impacting livelihoods across the continent in the agro-pastoral areas.
Ms Tumusiime noted that every day across the continent consumers enjoy one or more of the vast range of products derived from sheep and goats which include milk, meat and leather products “that are all-natural and of high quality and value marking, “the rearing of small ruminants is at the heart of the way of life of agro-pastoralists in Africa as well as the women and youth on the continent.”
She said that commercialization of the value chain in small ruminants is growing adding that the rearing and trading in sheep and goats is creating thousands of jobs while at the same time contributing to nutrition and food security for the livestock dependent communities as well as improving the livelihoods of many households in the rural parts of Africa.
Ms Tumusiime while addressing a meeting to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the African Union’s InterAfrica Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) said that the challenges posed by PPR ought to be addressed in order to cushion communities that depend on sheep and goats, from slumping into poverty.
The former Commissioner in charge of Agriculture and Rural Development called for the eradication of PPR in order to increase the income of the youth and women in especially the agro-pastoral communities.
While urging member states to increase funding for research as well as the development of technologies that can aid in the eradication of PPR, Tumusiime said it is possible to eradicate the highly contagious disease the same way Rinderpest has been eradicated on the continent.
“The same way Africa has been able to eradicate rinderpest it will be successful in eradicating PPR if member states work with AU-IBAR in a co-ordinated manner,” said Rhoda Peace.