The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) Wednesday, March 19, began a two-day National stakeholder’s seminar on Livestock Policy Hub (LPH) inauguration and intervention on National Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) Standard guidelines in the country.
The seminar is under the auspices of Reinforcing Veterinary Governance in Africa with the intention to bring about strengthening of veterinary services toward the establishment of adequate services at a national level.
The program is also intended to harmonize and support countries with the aim of stimulating more conducive environment for both public and private investments in the livestock sector.
Mr. Joseph R.N. Anderson, Director of Animal Health Services at MOA, who gave the welcome remarks, said there are two important things vital to the seminar that would help to strengthen the livestock sector and improve food security.
According to him, due to the prevailing institutional capacity building in most African countries over the years, of which Liberia is no exception, the provision of affordable, accessible and sustainable quality services is a serious challenge.
He said analysis of those problems had been given approached proposals in the Veterinary Governance in Africa (VET-GOV) program with the hope of advancing aspects of governance and institutional reforms required to improve the provision of veterinary services in Liberia.
The Director of Animal Health Services pointed out that as part of their mandate they are not only concerned about working with stakeholder to legislative animal disease law; but to also create awareness of the risks taken to provide appropriate environments for livestock.
For his part, the Veterinary Governance in Africa (VET-GOV) regional coordinator for ECOWAS, Dr. Henri Kabore said the Reinforcing Veterinary Governance (VET-GOV) program’s main purpose is to enhance institutional capacity for livestock policies, strategies and legislation formulation.
Mr. Kabore said the purpose of the programs is to promote the establishment and strengthening of LPH at both the national and regional levels following the success of the program through the Livestock Policy Initiative.
He said the program was completed through the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD-LPI) implemented in East Africa, where inclusive approach involving stakeholders’ from government and civil society had proven to be effective.
He recalled the national consultative multidisciplinary meeting that was held in May of last year in establishing a Livestock Policy Hub.
“We are confident that this hub will perform as expected in enhancing institutional capacity to better deliver and inform you about the livelihood focused on in Liberia.” he said.
The ECOWAS regional director asserted that serious attention needed to be given to the prospect of the sector in Africa; the European Union has provided 31 million Euros to sponsor 54 African countries that are part of the program.
“There is serious need to formulate policies and legislative actions including animal disease law to promote better health for all,” Mr. Kabore stressed.
According to him, the five-year project implementation plan is not enough; each of the 54 countries should take the program seriously to achieve results and to move forward.
He said that member states lack sustainability, a source of concern to the European Union, African Union, and ECOWAS.
He explained that the five-year program started in 2012 and is expected to end in December 2015.